More good stuff. Did not find the love scene to cheesy and a nice way to work the werewolf back into the story line. I think it leaves the reader w anticipation which is always a nice way to end a chapter.
Wow!! I didn't expect a reply post so soon!
It's very reassuring to hear your input mrRW. Thank you! This may look like the end of the chapter, but as of right now it's not. Although when I revise my draft I might split this chapter into two, because it's twice as long for what I consider an appropriate length. This point right here could potentially become the end of chapter four in the future.
Since I'm still up I shall reward you with another post.
Warning If you are sensitive to violence then please skip ahead to the next post and don't read this one. I will include a very brief overview in it so the reader will still know what's going on without having to feel uncomfortable.
Sean woke up to the sounds of harsh whispering just outside his tent. It sounded like two people arguing, but they were trying to be discreet and keep their voices down. He realized that the voices belonged to Craig and Jeanine and concern for them brought his mind fully awake. He focused his listening and tried to get a sense of what they were talking about, but their conversation was reaching its conclusion and the last words he heard were from Jeanine asking where he was going and Craig declaring that he was heading to his truck.
Sean didn’t understand what they were fighting about, but it disturbed him enough to keep him from falling back to sleep. He felt like he had only rested for a few minutes, because it took him forever to settle down. Having Rose laying so close to him, trusting him, made him feel energized and restless, and the more he considered her the more his body kept on wanting to transform. Eventually he found a state of equilibrium that left him feeling tight in the chest and his senses augmented.
He enjoyed being sensitive to every minute detail of her. Her body felt so relaxed and molded itself to his form perfectly, like she was always meant to be there. The sound of her breathing was slow and peaceful, and reminded Sean of listening to the gentle waves of an ocean lapping at the shores in the middle of the night. Her hair drifted about every time he exhaled and it stirred the scent of strawberries that tickled his nose when he inhaled.
The sounds of muffled sobbing came from the fire pit area and Sean figured it was from Jeanine. Disturbed by her distress he thought he should do something and carefully slid his body out from underneath Rose. He regretted leaving her small frame there. The area seemed so empty without him to fill the space, but something was wrong between Craig and Jeanine and it was important to him to see if he could help.
As he opened the tent flap he could see that the sky had a dark blue hue as morning was drawing nearer, and he heard Jeanine abruptly cease her crying. She tried to disguise the reason she was out there by busying herself with setting up wood to build another fire. Sean did his best to quietly slip his sneakers on and to close the tent behind him, so as to not wake up Rose. He walked over to her looking for signs that would hint at the reason for her and her boyfriend fighting.
“I’m sorry if we woke you up,” she said with a sniffle. She wiped her nose with the back of her hand and kept on piling wood in an orderly fashion.
Not much for subtlety, Sean asked, “What were the two of you arguing about?”
“It was nothing,” Jeanine said, trying to dodge the topic. “Don’t worry about it.”
“If you say so,” he responded and then knelt down near her and began helping her with what she was doing.
“Sean, if you don’t mind, I’d like to be left alone.”
“Nope. I’m not going to do that.”
Angered, she grunted with frustration, stood up kicking the pile of sticks she had made, and stormed off toward the trail leading back to the trucks. She stopped short of just leaving the camp and stood there with her arms wrapped around her like she was cold. Her head bent downward and her upper body started quivering like she was silently crying. Sean couldn’t help himself and went over to her, putting a hand on her shoulder letting her know that he was there for her.
“I think Craig wants to break up with me,” she managed to say between sobs.
“Because he wants to have sex and I don’t.” Sean didn’t say anything and let her gain more control over her crying. “I want to wait until we get married, and I don’t think he can.” She gave a shuddering breath and managed to get control over her tears so that she could talk more clearly.
“I was even willing to compromise with him a little,” she continued, “and I asked him if he could at least wait until I was done with college. I’ve got so much pressure on me to do well. I don’t want to be like my mom. She had me when she was nineteen and it kept her from doing all the things she wanted to do.”
Sean wasn’t used to anything like this, and had no idea of what to say. He did what was natural and stood by her side with an arm around her for comfort and whispered to her that everything would be okay.
“I love him and I don’t want to lose him. What should I do?”
“He’s a guy and I’m sure he’s just feeling a bit frustrated. Give him some time to cool off and I bet things’ll be okay.” He tried to console her
“You love him, right?” Sean questioned
“Yea,” she answered, now in more control over her emotions.
“And I can tell he loves you, so everything will turn out alright. You’ll see.” He stood there for a while longer wishing he could offer more support. In the distance they could hear the sound of the trucks radio blaring, but with the surrounding trees and bushes the sound was dampened tremendously. “If you want I can go talk to him for you,” Sean offered.
“No,” she insisted. “That’s alright. You don’t have to do that.”
Another minute went by and they both turned around taking a few steps back into camp, when all of a sudden Sean stopped. Jeanine stopped as well and looked at him trying to understand what had gotten Sean’s attention. He tilted his head to angle his ear better in the direction of the trucks. The music had ceased and the car alarm was blaring. Not even a second went by and the alarm slowly died within two beeps as though its power had faded. Sean was tense and he felt like something wasn’t right.
Jeanine picked up on how tense Sean was and asked him what was wrong. He didn’t answer. He was afraid to give voice to his fears. Sean went to the mouth of the path leading into the camp and shouted Craig’s name. Jeanine started to panic and asked more insistently what was wrong, and he looked at her telling her he wasn’t sure. She tried to listen as well to see if she could pick up on whatever it was Sean had heard.
She didn’t hear anything, and neither did Sean. There were no crickets. No early morning birds chirping. Not even a breeze to make the trees rustle their leaves and branches. It was unnaturally silent.
They both heard something flying through the upper branches as if it had been thrown, and then something landed with an ugly thud near the center of their camp. They turned around to see what had fallen from the sky. Sean stared in disbelief, and Jeanine started screaming hysterically. Lying on the ground about twenty feet from where they stood was a bloody human leg torn off about midway between knee and hip, and a very familiar shoe on its foot that should’ve belonged to Craig.
The two tents with people in it began to shake as Jason, Heather, and Rose woke up abruptly to the terrified screaming they heard. Rose was the first one out while Jason was cursing as he told Heather to hurry up and get dressed. Before Rose could take any more than two steps, Sean had rushed over to her and used his body to block the grizzly sight. She tried to move around him to get to Jeanine all the while screaming over her asking her what was wrong. Sean tried to pace her and block her from looking at the center of camp, but she saw where Jeanine had her eyes transfixed and she ducked around Sean to see what it was. The gruesome display stopped her dead in her tracks and she stumbled backwards in shock. She fell to her knees and her hand covered her mouth as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Jeanine jumped to her feet and started to scream Craig’s name over and over again as she took off running in the direction of the trucks. Sean leaped after her trying to tell her that they needed to stay together, but before he could catch up something huge swept across the path so fast he couldn’t make out what it was. The thing slammed into her and snatched her off her feet carrying her up into the air at forty-five degree angle. She screamed as her body crashed through the upper branches and disappeared. Even her horrified sound ended abruptly, as though she just ceased to exist.
Sean thought he knew what it was, but his mind was having trouble accepting the reality of what was happening. Inside, pass all the terror he was feeling, he was blaming himself. The giant werewolf had come for him and now his friends were paying the price for his naivety.
Sean fell backwards scrambling to reverse his direction and get inside the camp. He and Jeanine had only gone down the trail less than twenty feet and the others had all seen glimpses of what happened to her. A new string of curses was flowing through Jason’s mouth as he started to understand that their lives were in danger. Sean rushed over to Rose and caught a glimpse of something sparkling on her chest. Everything froze as he realized why this was happening.
Around her neck Rose was wearing his pendant.
Sean grabbed Rose by the shoulders and lifted her to her feet. “Why are you wearing my pendant?” Sean asked as anger, unbidden, entered his voice. Rose ceased being hysterical and looked up at Sean with a tear streaked face and disbelief. She obviously had no idea why such a question could be important to him at a time like this.
Her mind was in shock and she answered automatically. “You were asleep, and it was pressing into my face. I took it off to look at it and then put it on so I wouldn’t lose it.” She was shaking with fear and looking at him. Sean imagined his angry demeanor was the new focus of her anxiety and a dam of emotions broke inside of him flooding him with so many confusing sensations.
He was angry that she had unknowingly jeopardized them all, and angry that a giant monster was destroying his life. Pangs of guilt shot through him as he realized how scary he must’ve looked to Rose. There was also sadness that everything might end tonight and that he was responsible for having brought this death sentence on everybody. He felt horrible for Jeanine and Craig, but if Rose died he would be absolutely devastated. Fear gripped him in its clutches and he knew he had to do everything in his power to protect her.
Sean could feel his own inner beast clawing at him to get out. His body felt like it was catching on fire, and he knew he had denied the transformation for too long. He didn’t want it to stop. He welcomed it, and he hoped that he could direct all his fears, anger, and hatred at the enormous creature that threatened them.
He set Rose down, not realizing he had actually picked her up off her feet, and he could feel the rate of the change rage through his body with exponential speed.
“Rose,” he said while struggling to maintain his human form long enough to talk to her, “keep the pendant on no matter what, run, and don’t look back.”
Rose took off sprinting at full speed in a blind panic down the trail to the trucks hoping that it would somehow lead to her salvation. Jason and Heather followed immediately behind her. He prayed that if there was a God, that he would at least let Rose escape with her life.
Something stepped out of thin air through a thin wisp of dark purple and light blue. A portal suddenly appeared out of nowhere and this huge form stepped out crashing its foot down like a steel pylon with Jason disappearing underneath it.
Sean couldn’t wait for the change to be completed. The stench of death and the wrenching heartache in his chest was too much for him to bear. A roar that combined all the horror and rage that he was feeling pent up inside him erupted from his mouth and it vibrated throughout the dark woods. He ran full force at the giant werewolf’s back right as the beast within him exploded from within. His muscles and joints stretched and popped to fast for him to register the pain. Fur burst out of nearly every pore of his body and his clothes fell away with the sudden increase of mass. He was so intent on killing the colossal figure in front of him that he didn’t even know at what point his mouth became a muzzle filled with sharp teeth.
The last thing he could remember was his taloned hands penetrating deeply into either side of the giant werewolf’s spine. He tried pulling the thing’s insides out without regard to its howl of pain or the seething growl that promised Sean an agonizing death.
Sean woke up and he was disorientated as to where he was. He couldn’t see and his eyes hurt from the brightness of the light. For a moment he wondered if had died and was in the afterlife, but then he started to feel the aches and pains of his body and he knew he wasn’t so blessed. His head pounded with the worst headache he had ever known. His limbs felt raw like they had freshly healed from being broken in too many places and he knew that he was probably completely naked since he ripped through all his clothes during the transformation. Something with his right hip felt wrong, and he couldn’t tell exactly how it had been mangled. He also felt weak and could barely lift his arms. There was a weight on his chest like something was resting on top of him, but he couldn’t determine what it was. When he tried to roll over off his back his middle sparked to life with frightening pain, and he laid there paralyzed with the intensity of it.
The shock brought him fully awake, but he still struggled to get his eyes to work against the brilliance of the high noon sun. When he could finally see and make sense of his surroundings, he was horrified and his spirit was crushed into despair.
He had a broken tree stump about eight inches wide and three feet high sticking out of his stomach just below his ribcage. That was bad, but it wasn’t the worst of it.
Lying on top of him sharing the same appalling fate as Sean was Rose. She was laying face down so that he was looking up into her dead eyes that were open wide in dismay. A trail of dried blood was left over on her face from when it still flowed with her ebbing life. The only other apparent damage that Sean could see was her right arm was missing just above the elbow. It matched perfectly the injury he had suffered eight years ago, except that she would never grow it back with only a scar as a reminder.
His Rose was dead.
The pendant was still around her neck, its presence taunting Sean. He realized he was foolish believing it would save her. Gregor specifically said that it would only work for him.
He couldn’t breathe deeply enough to allow himself to cry, but tears fell freely from his eyes. The physical and emotional pain overwhelmed him and he passed out wishing he could die and never wake again.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-25 02:05:29)
The giant werewolf showed up and killed everyone that Sean was camping with. There's also a very blatant clue that the reason the giant werewolf can exist for the most part unnoticeable is that because it comes and goes through portals. The exact nature of how it travels is yet unknown. Sean tried to stop it by letting himself transform into a werewolf and fighting it, but when his alter ego took over he blacked out so had no memory of the epic struggle. He woke up to find the girl he was falling in love with, Rose, dead. He blamed himself and feels extremely traumatized by the whole event.
Did I shock you with what happened?! I hope my readers don't hate me. Hang in there though, there's so much more of this story to tell. Unfortunately a life with Rose was never meant to be for him. He will meet another and I hope I can be as affective with the romance as I was with this chapter. This is just the beginning. After this event life still goes on for Sean, in fact his adventure is just starting out, and you've yet to see the main characters (other than Gregor) that will accompany him. My fictional world is large and there are so many other supernatural things you've yet see. I've got werewolves, vampires, magic, psychic powers, angels, devils, and a portal to an alternate world that you all still have to see!
I have one more post to make that will conclude chapter four. After at least one person posts it shall be yours to read, free!!
I have side notes of the intense battle between Sean and the giant werewolf that I did not include in the story. At this point Sean still has a split personality, so he isn't aware of what is going on after he transforms. As it is I feel like I stretched that rule describing how he engaged the other werewolf, but it was a satisfying tidbit.
I'm kind of curious if anyone has an opinion on what my giant werewolf actually is? I'm not going to give it away, but I am interested to hear what some of you have to say.
While on that topic I'd also be interested in hearing possible suggestions of where my readers might like me to take this story. I have a detailed outline of how I want the first book to be, and a less than detailed outline for the second, but I think I still need some fillers to help develop my characters to get them to where I want them to be. It may seem odd for me to be asking for ideas since I have an outline already, but I mainly ask to help open my mind to other possibilities of how my characters can act and behave. The different perspectives that I might get from my readers could help me to make my characters more believable and relatable. Plus the more input I get from you guys the more likely your names will be printed in the acknowledgment. Is that good enough motivation?
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-25 09:50:27)
Come on! Someone post something so I can give you the end to this chapter!
Ha ha! I'm itching to let you all read what I have.
D*mn, I'm so impatient. Aren't I?
I'm striving to make this the best story at the werewolf cafe. Man, I love writing this story.
To add to my my request for suggestions... I understand now why I was asking. I'm having a little bit of trouble trying to decide on how to begin my next chapter. After I make my next post to conclude chapter four, I'd love to hear some ideas of how Sean can overcome the trauma of what he has experienced. Revenge is the most natural motivator, but I'm curious if I can discover another angle in which to take him. I'd love to see what you guys can come up with.
I did re-edit my last two posts to include a warning for the preceding violent scenes and an overview afterwords for anyone sensitive to such.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-25 09:43:46)
i'm sure its a good story but i dont feel ike reading
Awww man really?
but why did you have to kill Rose?
Awesome!! Finally a post from a devoted reader. Thank you Lonewolf!
I know killing Rose off was horrible, but in the grand scheme of things there's a different girl that Sean is meant to fall in love with, but that won't become developed until a few trials have been endured. As the story progresses I think it would be interesting to see people speculate as to whom it will be (I have to admit at this point even I am a little undecided, but I also know more about the plot than my readers)
As upsetting as Rose's death was it did serve multiple purposes within the plot:
1) It showed that Sean can't live like a normal person, and that he has to be mindful of who ever he is with, because no one is safe around him.
2) It should give the reader some insight that the giant werewolf has a sadistic, malevolent intelligence, and out right hates Sean. If your not sure why, ask me. I think I can explain it without giving away anything.
3) Further more it shapes Sean's personality in an integral way that will increase his character development and make him more identifiable. Something also I just realized as an after thought is that what happened to Rose will further intensify a future situation that I have outlined for Sean.
Ultimately my writing in Rose's character was spontaneous and I actually surprised myself with how much life I was able to breathe into her. I had no notes or anything else developed about her other than a name that I had made up a few seconds before starting this chapter. The romance I included was kind of a test run for me to try my hand at it, and I'm still eagerly waiting on as much feedback as I can get in regard to that. Anybody?
I hope that in the end my readers will agree with me that Rose's character further enhances the quality of the story. I haven't completely decided yet but there's a chance that we may still see her again. We'll see how things develop, and if I don't get so wrapped up and forget about her (that would be terrible of me).
What do you all think of the intensity of the encounter with the giant werewolf? Was it too much too little, or right on?
Since you ask for more... here is the conclusion of chapter four!!!
Warning There is one section of this post suggesting violence but I will mark the beginning and end of it with a red warning, so those that wish it can skip it.
Sean’s body had been so damaged his regenerative ability had been slow to overcome the wood passing through its center. It wasn’t until night fall when the stump had been sufficiently weakened that he could finally break it off of him. He freed Rose’s body and held her mangled form in his lap while he cried properly, and giving into his misery. He rocked back and forth not knowing how he would be able to go on living his life now. Anyone he came into contact with would have their lives put into jeopardy merely by association. He had no way to express the deep depression he had fallen into. He had no idea what he was going to do now.
After a while of holding onto Rose, he got up and reverently laid his flower down upon the ground. In a mindless stupor he found his way back to their camp, which was mostly intact, and he rummaged around until he eventually found his cell phone. He called Gregor and told him in a monotone voice what happened. Gregor’s immediate desire was to know exactly where Sean was and for him to promise to remain where he was until he got there. Sean agreed to his demands and didn’t move an inch. He didn’t even press the disconnect button as he let the phone fall away from his ear.
He sat there for a long time. Even though he was hungrier than he had ever been in his entire life he couldn’t find the motivation to eat anything. There was a cooler just a few feet away from him that had food, but he lacked the will to go over to it. Eventually he leaned back onto the earth, and stared blankly up at the star filled sky. He had no idea how much time had gone by before Gregor showed up. All he knew was that it was the same night.
Gregor had two other people there with him that Sean didn’t recognize. One of them was a man wearing a dark color hooded cloak that was the length of his body. His thick beard was splashed with grays and whites and his bushy eyebrows reflected the same. His face appeared to be old and leathery and incapable of offering any other expression than the same severe look he gave everything else. He also carried with him a plain narrow wooden staff that was thinner on the bottom than the top and had a large emerald embedded at the head.
The woman that was there didn’t look like any woman Sean had ever seen. She was beautiful and curvy in the ideal sense of the word and her skin looked as though it were made of some kind of smooth bark. Her hair was long and had the same quality and texture of moss. The little bit of clothing she was wearing consisted of green leaves and scented flowers.
These guests of Gregor’s would have amazed Sean if he wasn’t feeling so dead inside. He heard them talking and felt them moving around, but couldn’t find anything worth caring about to focus on. At some point his uncle lifted him up into the air and flew him back to where his car was at the Pine Motel. Somewhere in his mind he distantly heard him ask if he could drive, and Sean stared at him blankly trying to think of a reason why he would want to. Gregor growled at him as he put Sean into the front passenger seat, and then disappeared into the registration office.
He came out a little while later, positioned himself in the driver’s seat, and got the car moving. Sean let his head rest against the window and he watched without really seeing the night time scenery pass by. The view changed from countryside to highway, and back to countryside again. When the vehicle finally stopped they were surrounded by tall pine trees and a small old style log cabin sat in front of them. Gregor forced Sean to get out of the car and inside while he grumbled that he couldn’t believe he was doing this. He helped Sean find an old sheet-less mattress on a rickety metal bed frame that stood in a room barely big enough to fit it. He gave Sean some instructions that he forgot as soon as he heard, and disappeared from view.
Sean laid there lacking the will power to do anything else as the day light filtered in through a dusty window he hadn’t notice was there before. Periodically the exotic plant woman came into his room and sat down next to him on the bed. She whispered soothing words to him while she gently coerced his body to take in some food. She provided a sweet broth substance that dripped from her fingers into Sean’s mouth, and he didn’t know where she got it from. The more he ingested the less hunger he felt gnawing at his insides and a feeling of euphoria gradually swept over him. It was a false happiness. Sean knew that somehow, and in the distant corner of his mind he still didn’t care. He knew in truth he had nothing to be happy about.
Later that evening when Gregor came to check up on him the plant woman was there too, and he could over hear his uncle yell at her in anger. “How dare you feed him your nectar! Are you trying to claim him as yours!? I’ve a mind to destroy you for such an attempt!”
“The child is deeply wounded. He needs to heal.” The woman spoke as though she were cowering from Gregor in fear, but after a moment she continued. “He needs sustenance and he needs to be purified.”
Sean was slightly intrigued by their conversation, but she and Gregor left, and went outside where he couldn’t overhear them. The trauma of everything that had happened left Sean feeling shattered and he didn’t know if he would ever be able to get over what he went through.
He rolled over onto his side, and as he did so, he felt the weight of the pendant shift under his shirt. He had been feeling so disconnected with reality he never even realized at what point clothes had gotten put on him, or the protective pendant replaced around his neck. The crystal felt a lot heavier on him now then it did before, and it only made him think of Rose. He was sure he would’ve felt tears streak down his face if it wasn’t for the liquid the plant woman had given him.
Cyrus sifted through the site of the abandoned campsite. The local reports said that the teenagers had been ravaged by some kind of wild animal. He didn’t bother reading it thoroughly, because he knew it would be mostly false information any way. Someone had gotten here before the Veil could mobilize a team to investigate and had done their best to cover up the truth of what really happened. That major fact interested Cyrus more than anything, and he wanted to desperately find out whom.
The dirt road leading to here had been blocked off by road barriers and black and yellow crime scene tape encircled the camp. Since town officials had already been through the area and a suspicious unknown before them, Cyrus didn’t believe he’d find any hard evidence of what actually occurred. Feeling frustrated He used his mind to telekinetically lift up one of the log-seats and hurled it with an audible grunt as far as he could over the lake. It blasted through the thin barrier of trees, cleared the water, and landed somewhere over the next hillside. He admired the distance in which he had thrown the log and went over to where Edward was standing looking over the edge of the steep incline.
“Did you want to knock me over the edge Cyrus? Because if you did, you missed me by almost a foot,” Edward said in a very dry tone as Cyrus stood next to him.
“Please!” Cyrus said in exasperation, “If I wanted to hit you do you really think I would miss?”
Edward was an eco-path he was able to sense very specific things about the planet and all of its myriad forms of energies. He was the same average height as Cyrus and they both worked for the Veil, but that’s where their similarities ended. Edward had lengthy black hair that he would cut occasionally using a hunting knife and he preferred to wear natural clothing like cotton as opposed to anything synthetic. He also had the eyesight of a bat and needed to wear thick prescription lenses just so he could see more than a foot in front of his face.
Cyrus had short blond hair that was combed back and looked devilishly handsome. He had a charming appearance and could be easily mistaken for someone you might see modeling men's apparel in a magazine. He had an expensive taste in clothing and preferred to wear custom made suits, minus the tie. There was a scar around his neck that made him feel constricted when anything touched him there.
“Tell me again what you felt in this place,” Cyrus demanded.
Edward sighed as he tried to explain to his team leader for the third time what his psychic ability had picked up. “It felt like the Earth split open here and spewed forth some kind of poison.”
“I need you to describe it in more detail to me,” Cyrus insisted. “Be creative. Perhaps you can find something to compare it with.”
“Well, let me see…” Edward pushed his heavy glasses back up the bridge of his nose as he thought about it. “You know when there are nuclear bombs being tested out on those islands over the Atlantic; I get a feeling similar to that right here. Although the experience with the bombs is slow and dragged out. Here it was all contained in a pinpoint of sickness. Like the Earth had gotten punched from the inside out by laser of disease.”
Edward snapped his fingers and pointed at Cyrus finally realizing what he wanted to hear. “It was like a well of disease overflowing from within the Earth,” he said excitedly.
“Ahhhh…” Cyrus closed his eyes with a sigh and his face peeled back in a smile. “A well of disease overflowing from within the Earth. That was the description that I was looking for.”
“That’s what the shaman from that report used to describe that werewolf demon, right?” Edward asked making sure he was correct. Cyrus was silent and continued reflecting on his thoughts. “If I’m right then why would it show up here and kill these five kids?”
“That’s a very good question,” Cyrus replied. “One I hope our sheriff friend here can answer.”
Cyrus turned his attention to the sheriff of (town name), Sergeant Bennington and the woman standing next to him, Margret. The sheriff was round and heavy set with a neck that reminded Cyrus of a turkey. The fellow was standing there with a stupefied look in his face, completely unaware of everything going on around him, and doing everything he was told, because Margret had control of his mind. He considered the man to be distasteful in appearance and cared little if anything happened to him while they were out here.
Margret was a young protégée to Cyrus, and it was his job to train her and to give her field experience. She had straight blond hair that went just above her shoulders and was almost bleach white. She had definable gray eyes that emitted an icy cold stare no matter how she looked. Like Cyrus she too had acquired a taste for fine clothing, and wore a duplicate outfit. Although, with her clear-cut figure, the suit didn’t make her look the least bit tom-boyish.
Cyrus liked her. They were cut from the same cloth and were both ambitiously driven toward power. She coveted the strength that Cyrus had with his mind and yearned to be more like him.
Unfortunately Margret was only a telepath. She was stronger than most but not near as strong as Cyrus was. He had both telepathy and telekinesis a rare and powerful combination. But where Cyrus had strength, she had finesse, and was able to maneuver within a persons mind fluidly. He had promised Margret that as long as she stayed with him he could show her how to improve upon her mental ability and that the possibility even existed that he could assist her on triggering any dormant telekinetic powers she might have. Cyrus wanted to nurture her and to help her attain her goal. He had big plans for Margret. Plans that he kept secret for now.
Right now he needed to focus on finding that werewolf and trying to discover if there was a way they could summon it from where ever it hid. Something in these woods or the teenagers contained a critical ingredient for triggering that unnatural force of nature to show itself and he desperately wanted to know what it was. He needed to know as much factual information as he could find, and that’s where sheriff Bennington came in.
Most of the people from (town name) had already had their memories altered. Who ever had done it had done a seamless job. The mysterious someone had spliced and melded the thoughts and memories of everyone involved so perfectly Cyrus couldn’t tell, and he had scanned everyone himself. If it wasn’t for Margret being there he would have never known. He had to acknowledge that it was her sensitive touch that had felt the alterations. With her recommendation, the sheriff’s mind seemed like it had resisted the changes better than the others, and that he would be their best bet to get information.
Between the two of them they had manipulated him like a puppet, bringing him here to this location. They passed control of his mind back and forth, and he made sure that Margret was getting a good workout. By now the sheriff’s mind had been so exhausted that his will was practically nonexistent, which would make it easier for them to use their combined telepathy to surgically strip away the false memories and find out what really happened. Normally Cyrus would be doing this himself, but he couldn’t feel the edges of where the real memories and altered ones met, so he needed Margret to guide him.
She stood there holding the sheriff by his shoulder, like a predator that was pleased to make her first kill and looking at Cyrus for approval. He admired her with a grin and she smiled back, knowing that she was making him proud. This was her first time getting to try a psychic surgery like this one and he was going to show her how.
He stepped up to the fat man and felt disgusted as he put a hand on top of his head. “Show me,” he demanded of his partner.
He sensed her mental connection and rode it to where she directed him. Cyrus swept his awareness over the memory she was showing him, and he didn’t feel the slightest discrepancy. It was frustrating that he couldn’t sense what she had picked up despite the fact he was more experienced and stronger than she. The feeling was fleeting and he relaxed his search letting her to bring him to where she identified the beginning of the tampered memory.
Carefully he focused his thoughts and showed her how to slice into an artificial memory. As soon as he pulled it open he could easily tell where the false one was so artfully blended into the sheriff’s mind. Who ever had done this earned an all new level of respect from him as he marveled at their work. He let his awareness sweep back and forth through the altered section filtering it further with each pass, all the while knowing Margret was watching and learning. Finally satisfied that he had cleared everything up he invited her consciousness in so that they could both view the reality of what really happened.
Cyrus and Margret found themselves standing at the perimeter of the camp with a very different Sheriff Bennington. The sheriff was scanning the area from where he stood and had a very intent look on his face as he analyzed everything he saw. The two Veil agents surveyed their surroundings and saw at least a dozen or more people investigating the scene. There were people of various professions, from park rangers to forensic specialists, and even a civilian who appeared to be some kind of animal specialist. Half the people here were not on the investigative report, and it opened up a whole new group that they would have to find and interrogate.
The sheriff moved forward with parts of his body moving right through Margret like she wasn’t even there. She gasped and was startled by the sight of it. Cyrus laughed at her reaction and told her that they weren’t actually there. They were more like visiting ghosts looking at the past and they could do nothing here but watch and listen to all the things the sheriff had seen and heard. He advised her to not wander to far from the man or else she’d find herself pulled back to whatever he was focused on, and if she wasn’t careful the jolt could cause her to slip out of the memory.
They followed their subject over to the center of camp where he was approaching a thin man kneeling on one knee who looked like a ranger or a park official. “Hey, Tom, what do you make of all this?”
Beginning of Warning
He was looking at a human severed leg with a disposable rubber glove on and was carefully poking and prodding it without disturbing its position. “Well,” he started off slowly, “it looks to me like an animal with big teeth bit down here where the leg was separated then something grabbed the leg, crushing it in its grip and pulled it away from the body. It bothers me that I don’t see any signs of it being dragged here or carried, or for that matter where’s the rest of the body?”
“Jesus, Tom! What could have done this?”
“No idea yet. We’ve got a bunch of corpses, some whole, most not and we’re still trying to figure out what killed them. My opinion: somebody murdered these kids and failed miserably in making it look like a wild animal did it. I mean look at this…,”Tom got to his feet and took the sheriff over to the mouth of the trail, “this kid right here had his whole body pressed into the ground. He died from being crushed with something huge,” Tom said shrugging his shoulders at loss with how to explain what they were looking at. He gestured around the camp making the sheriff look around. “Do you see anything around here remotely large enough, let alone heavy enough, to do this?”
End of Warning
“What about that rock over there?” Bennington pointed at the boulder that was used as a seat near the fire pit.
“That?! Oh come on Bennie, even you gotta be able to see that boulder is more than half buried and hasn’t been moved from that spot in decades.”
“How many deaths are we talking about here?”
“Four confirmed, maybe five if we find the body parts don’t match up and a probable sixth, but no one has been able to find him yet.”
Margret looked at Cyrus with sudden understanding. “Didn’t their report say that there were only five kids that went camping?”
“Yes,” Cyrus mused while he stroked his chin. “I wonder who that sixth could be?”
Margret thought that he had his suspicions, but she knew him well enough to know that he wouldn’t share it with her unless he was able to confirm it. It was the way he liked to solve problems. He preferred to let other people come to their own conclusions, and to not pollute their ideas with his own. Sometimes his technique would offer more information in the end.
“We need to look around here for someone who ultimately caused this deception,” Cyrus suggested. “But, first I need to show you how to slide your consciousness backwards and forwards through the memory. I fully expect that the individual who is trying to hide the truth from us has laid a trap, that will most likely trigger if we can identify him here at this scene. I’m going to have to incorporate myself deeper into this mind so that I can sense things in greater detail, and you are going to be my anchor to pull me out at the first sign of danger.”
Cyrus instructed her on how she had to let herself sway back back and forth from the beginning to the end of the altered thoughts as though she were on a swing moving in slow motion. Since he would be moving about within the memory he told her not to be disturbed. Each sweep she made would feel slightly different, like the swing she was on was slowly rotating. He made it absolutely clear to her that the second she felt him tense or there was a spike in her path that she had to yank them both out. He let her practice a couple of times sweeping her awareness back and forth before he poured more of his essence into the sheriffs mind.
Cyrus moved about within the former campsite looking for the identity of the individual responsible for making him do this. He looked closely at every officials face and behind every tree within the short distance, but he couldn’t find anyone with the slightest hint of a psychic residue. He checked up on Margret several times just to make sure her attention remained sharp and that she would be ready at a moments notice.
It wasn’t until the fifth time through of watching people move backwards and forwards that he finally saw what he was missing. Everyone was avoiding one of the tents. They had looked through the other two, but the one green one they left alone. He conveyed to his partner to be ready, because he believed he had found exactly where to look. Cautiously he went up to the tent, put his hand on the zipper and readied himself.
He pulled the zipper back in one quick motion and let the tent flap fall away. There in front of him sat a very familiar face. His long black hair was slicked back and his neon green eyes bore into his like daggers with deadly precision. The memory of the camp had been in the daylight, but all of a sudden everything turned to night more quickly than someone turning off a light.
Too late, Cyrus realized his mistake. The altered memory actually spanned a far greater time span than he had thought to look. The seams they found were deliberately placed there where only another telepath could find them. It was all part of the trap, and he had blind to it.
Everything happened within an instant. From the very moment he he saw those extraordinary penetrating eyes his mind instinctively cried out to Margret to pull him out faster than words could convey.
He felt his awareness slam back into his body and he actually stumbled backwards a few steps. He had no idea what sort of trap the clever devil had set but he was certainly glad he hadn’t found out. Margret was so startled by the suddenness and the fear that spiked from Cyrus that she momentarily lost her control over the sheriff. Before he could completely become self aware she mentally attacked him and wrestled his will back into the recesses of his mind.
Cyrus had composed himself by the time she was finished regaining control of their unwilling volunteer. “What happened?” she asked. She wasn’t used to seeing her mentor so disrupted and it had her concerned.
“It was Gregor!” he scowled. “That bastard was involved in all this for some reason, and I will scour every city, countryside, and remote place until I find him.”
Margret wanted to know more about who this Gregor was, but before she could ask she was interrupted by their fourth and final team member, Elowin. She was a spellcaster, and she specialized with necromancy, a magic art frowned upon by most spellcasters. She was originally part of the Arcanus, but left because she felt they were holding her back and accusing her of being too ambitious.
She didn’t look anything at all like Margret thought a spellcaster should look like. She had no hair and kept her bald head hidden under a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap. She knew nothing about baseball, and chose the hat simply because she liked the color. She wore a baggy plain t-shirt, jeans, and leather hiking boots. She would have had a pretty face if it wasn’t for the purple bags that seemed to be permanently etched under her eyes. The only thing that made her look wizardly was the short walking staff she carried with her that looked like a spine with a miniature fanged human skull at the top, and a disturbing necklace around her neck that consisted of a collection of teeth from various creatures, including human. She claimed she was seventy-two and insisted that she was young, but she looked more like an eighteen year old and hardly anyone believed her when she told them her true age.
She came bounding into the camp with a buoyant attitude, bouncing up and down speaking too fast for anyone to understand her. Cyrus had to grab her by both shoulders to get her to hold still long enough to calm down so that they could make sense of what she was saying.
“You guys wont believe what I’ve found!” She was still speaking so fast it was hard to tell where one sentence ended and the next began. “I found a spirit shard intact enough so that I could talk to it. She said her name is Rose, and she can tell us what happened here. It took me a while to get her to talk, but if you guys hurry you can hear her too. She said that there was this big monster that attacked them, and there was this boy that she liked named Sean, and he became a monster too, and they started fighting each other…“
“What did you say?!” Cyrus instantly became focused on Elowin and his face lit up as though he were excited. No one was used to seeing him like this, so when he actually looked happy it made him appear creepy in a maniac sort of way. Elowin’s rambling ceased immediately with Cyrus’ question. She looked up at him fearful that his happy expression was directed at her, and she couldn’t comprehend what he wanted to hear.
“The name! What was the name!?” he shook her in his enthusiasm.
“Rose,” she offered in a meek voice.
“No!” he shouted with anger tainting his excitement. “The other name!”
“Sean,” she said in the same meek voice.
“Hurry,” he set her down and pushed her in the direction she had come. “I need to know if this is the same Sean.”
Margret looked at Edward to see if he understood what was going on but he just shrugged and followed after them. She hesitated not sure what she should do with the sheriff, and wondered if she ought to leave him there.
“Hey, Marge!” Elowin’s jubilant voice shouted. “Bring your puppet! I might need his blood!”
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-27 04:33:53)
Wow!! I was surprised with how many misspelled words I had on this post after I posted it. I had to wonder if I posted the right version. If you guys find any discrepancies let me know please.
I'm currently in the process of typing chapter five so I may not have anything more to post until Tuesday or Wednesday, but you never know. Keep checking back periodically.
In the meantime if anyone has any questions I will be glad to answer them.
I'm always looking for more fans and readers, so please keep on posting. It fuels my writing passion
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-26 06:52:18)
keep it coming
As always, thank you Lonewolf for being a devoted reader. I'll add more to this post in a bit. I just wanted to acknowledge you real quick.
Now that it's later, and I have time, I want to introduce a troubling thought that I had, and to see if anyone has anything to say about it. I'm a little concerned about the possibility of someone else stealing my work. I monitor on a regular basis the increase of the number of views my story has gotten so far without the addition of a reply. So, I know that there are people reading my story without comment. I hate to say it, but lately it has made me feel a bit suspicious and paranoid as to why would someone read what I have written and not have anything to say, especially when I strongly encourage replies. I would like to think the best of people and trust that no one would try to steal my work for themselves, so I wonder if anyone has ever heard or had to deal with anyone else doing such a thing?
I think that I could be viewed as being pushy with trying to get feedback, and if anyone feels that way I apologize. It's just that I'm so desperate for input, because I'm serious about making this story the best I possibly can, but I can't do that without hearing what others have to say. Even if you can't think of what to write for a reply I wouldn't mind a simple "Hi! I'm reading your story." At least that would make me feel a little bit better about the increased views of unknown viewers. Am I being paranoid? Does my story have a chance of being that good?
Does anyone have any suggestions on what an aspiring writer can do to protect their work from being stolen? I would most definitely love to continue sharing it with all the great people that I have met here at the werewolf cafe. You have all been an inspiration to me whether you realize it or not, and without this web site I'm not sure how far I would've gotten in developing this story.
Well... enough of that. Sorry if I'm acting out of sorts. I blame it on the lack of sleep I've been getting lately.
I've started my first four pages in the next chapter, and I think I'll start having material enough to start posting as early as Monday. It does depend whether or not I have free time at work. Let's hope so
Oh, yea!! On a personal note: better watch out Punx! I'm catching up to you in the number of replies I've gotten so far. LOL!!
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-27 05:19:20)
I've finished my rough draft of chapter five! Yay
I'm in the process of proofreading it and catching the mistakes I see and making some improvements here and there, but like I said it's still a rough draft and I need my readers to give me their opinions.
I'll finish fixing up the first part and post it tonight. Then tomorrow after someone else posts a response I'll post a second part where you'll get to meet a new character who will be very important to the overall story. There's also a third piece that you'll get to see a brief glimpse of two more interesting and important characters.
I have also started typing up chapter six, so there's a chance you'll get to see the beginning of that this weekend as long as I receive responses in between my posts.
Well enough jibber jabber. Let me get to work so the few who are reading this story can continue reading it
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-30 01:57:01)
OK Here's the first part of chapter 5
Read Enjoy Comment
Sean was finding all the leftover food from the bus pans increasingly more and more distasteful. There were partially eaten hamburgers, fries barely touched covered in ketchup, scoops of coleslaw, and melted ice cream all blended into a greasy concoction at the bottom of his grey bin. The dishes and silverware were already removed and running through the industrial dishwasher which further increased the humidity of the kitchen’s back room. He used his hand to scoop the disgusting mix of food into the garbage as he tried to bear in mind that he could wash them immediately afterwards in the huge sink. He tried to imagine at one point having liked this type of food back when he first started working at the (fast food restaurant), but the thought of it looking appetizing was overwhelmed by the many times he’d seen the leftovers mashed together. He used to enjoy eating the free food that was considered to be mess up orders, but lately it all seemed to have lost its flavor. Perhaps he was better off not eating the fast-food anyway, because it was supposed to be unhealthy and fattening. However, with his metabolism, that fact hardly bore any relevance to him.
The brown tiled floor was damp from the occasional splash of water that missed the sink when he rinsed the plates off. There were supposed to be rubber mats on the ground that ran the length of stainless steel counters, but there was one missing which left a dangerous gap on the inside corner where the dishwasher was. Occasionally he would find himself slipping in that one spot and twice he had fallen, before he had gotten used to it.
The place was getting near to closing and there were two of the waitresses sitting in the room at a table in the corner dedicated for breaks. They were wrapping silverware in napkins getting them prepared for the next day, and Sean was trying to ignore their whispered conversation and sporadic girlish giggles, fearing that he might be the topic. On a different day one of them had even tried asking him out on what he supposed would’ve been considered a date, but he had been curt with a convenient excuse of having to study for a calculus test. Since then no one else had tried talking to him much, and he was getting better at tuning out the background chatter, getting his work done, and leaving on time.
Sometimes, like tonight, there would be a big last minute rush of customers just before closing. The waitresses were supposed to help with the extra work load, but they would never stick around, and the store manager would have to wait for him to finish before he could lock up the place. He still had a mound of bus pans filled with dirty dishes behind him on the island counter, and he knew it was going to be another late night.
Water was collecting at the bottom of the sink and he had to lean over to unclog the drain from the food particles that had collected there. As he did, his precious pendant fell out from underneath his shirt and dangled around his neck in front of his chin. He stood up quickly almost in a panic and tucked it back under his collar. It was getting warm with the constant steam from the dishwasher, so he had undone the top two buttons of his shirt. He couldn’t allow even the remotest chance of the necklace coming off of him and closed his shirt back up. He would only have to deal with the extra heat temporarily, and that would be a far better punishment than his pendant escaping him.
Seeing it reminded him that it had almost been six months since his traumatic experience with the…
He couldn’t bear to think about it again. It only made his mood darker, and it never did him any good dwelling on it. If it hadn’t been for his uncle’s help he would never have gotten the motivation to pick himself up and get back to living.
Gregor tried different things to get Sean to snap out of his deep depression, but the experience had scarred him profoundly, and ultimately he had to resort to altering Sean’s mind. He was very much against erasing his memory, for that would permanently remove Sean’s opportunity to heal his soul. So, what he did was put up barriers that would degrade with time and block the experience in his subconscious. This way he could still function while awake, but the side affect was that sometimes he would have horrible nightmares.
Sean remembered wishing more than anything in his life that he could run back to his uncle’s manor and hide behind those protective wards forever, but the brief contact with his vampiric relative was enough of a refresher to remind him of how insane he had become before he desperately chose to leave. Going back was not a choice. He knew he had to find his own way, and that was the harsh truth.
For a time he drove around the country aimlessly, sometimes noticing the scenery when something interesting struck his eye. He didn’t really start looking for a place to settle down until he had received a call from his uncle that they had earned the attention of the Veil and that they would both have to lay low for a while. Gregor gave him instructions to stay within the city he was currently at, which was Louisville in Kentucky, and that he should probably get an apartment, because he fully expected that they would have to stay under the radar for an extended period of time. Shortly after he found a place and established an address, Gregor contacted him through the mail with a large manila envelope. Inside it was a false ID and further information on how to protect himself from being identified by the Veil. He also informed Sean that he would not be able to maintain any further contact with him until this whole thing blew over and that whatever money was left to him in his account would have to last until it was safe for them to come out of hiding.
He now had to endure the name Jonathan Amaric. He hated using it, and the way it sounded coming out of his mouth made his face twitch. It was hard getting used to telling people his false name, so he avoided saying it whenever possible, which meant he avoided people. He knew there were deeper reasons to avoid socializing, but he wasn’t ready to reflect on that dark topic.
“Aren’t you guys done yet?! Come on! The boss won’t let me out of here until the front is setup for tomorrow, and my ride is already here waiting for me.”
Sean knew who the girl was without having to glance over his shoulder, but he did anyway. The name tag on her shirt said Chris and she came whipping around the corner with reckless speed. She was Sean’s height, had short blond hair, and the beautiful face that could get away with that type of hair style. Her eyes were true blue and he got the chance to glimpse them again as she tried to avoid looking at him and make a straight b-line toward her fellow coworkers at the table in the back.
Her eyes didn’t have the same color or intensity as his uncle’s did, but they did share a similar quality that Sean could not describe in terms of physical attributes. Sean had felt more than just her eyes staring at him simply out of happenstance the very first time they had met. It was the same indefinable expression his uncle used when he was trying to listen in on his thoughts. As quick as their eyes had met Sean looked away, reinforced his mental wall, and busied himself with clearing tables and bringing his collection of dirty dishes back to the dishwasher. He tried to remain nonchalant, like there was nothing out of the ordinary, but it wasn’t soon after that he felt her invisible presence pressing up against his mental shields carelessly pushing and prodding like she had never encountered a psychic block before. He had to wonder if she even knew he could feel her, but he doubted she did based on the way she tried to act nonchalant too.
Ever since that fateful moment Sean always made sure he was on guard in his workplace, and pretended ignorance of what Chris had tried to do to him. She fascinated him, but at the same time he was extremely cautious around her. Several times he had even followed her home after work when she didn’t have a ride and had to walk. He found out that she lived in a bad neighborhood seemingly by herself, and her house was in ill-repair. He was always surprised and grateful when she made it home without anyone trying to assault her, but then again maybe she had long since established herself as a woman not to be messed with. She walked with full confidence and a pinch of attitude, enough to show she wasn’t prey. Sean only knew that there was something very unique about Chris and that he had to play it safe by remaining cautious.
She stood at the table where the other two younger girls sat and helped them with folding the paper napkins around the silverware adding to the growing pile inside of a clear plastic bin. She was almost twice as fast as her immature coworkers and worked with a no-nonsense attitude so that she could catch her ride that was supposed to be waiting for her outside. Sean was a little surprised to feel relief that she wouldn’t have to walk the dark streets alone tonight, and also wondered who was giving her a lift.
In less than a minute the three girls completed their task and Chris turned and almost ran out of the room. As she passed the dishwashing counter she slipped on the wet floor and would have fallen if Sean hadn’t been quick enough to grab her so that she could get her footing back. She had barely stabilized herself before she was shirking away from him yelling, “I’m fine!” She darted away without a thank you or even a backward glance.
Sean allowed himself a second to consider her then shook his head and got back to working the mountain of dirty dishes behind him. The other two girls walked out pretending not to see Sean; in hopes they wouldn’t get told by their manager to give him a hand. Once they had cleared the room and were a couple of steps away he heard them start their irritating giggling again and he was glad that they were gone.
When he was halfway finished, the night manager, Ed, poked his head in the backroom and whistled at the amount of cleaning still to be done. He informed Sean that there was no one else left in the restaurant, and that he was going to be upfront going over some paper work. Sean put away the rest of the dishes and made sure Ed knew he was leaving, before he headed out into the mid November night.
The weather had gotten a little colder than was normal for this time of year, and Sean wore a navy blue hooded sweatshirt with a thermal lining on the inside. He left the front open, because he felt the cooler weather to be refreshing after having been in the food-tainted humid air of the dishwashing room. He only lived three blocks away from where he worked and walked home after every shift, usually returning a half hour after midnight. But, tonight since they had a rush of customers he wouldn’t get home until after one. He hoped that his stray cat, Serenity, wouldn’t be too upset with him feeding her late.
He had discovered the cat by accident during his first month in getting accustomed to his new apartment, and the surrounding area. He was exploring a potential shortcut through an alley way that he could use to cut down on his time when he had to get to the university. As he passed an old beat up dumpster he caught a glimpse of the most pitiful excuse for a cat he had ever seen, hiding between the wall and the dumpster. At first he merely noted it and kept on walking, but then he reconsidered his action for some reason and turned around to check on the animal.
She was supposed to be white with faint hints of brown splashed on her face, ears, and the tip of her tail, but at that point she was so covered in grimy dirt he really had no idea. When he made his approach and knelt down to the ground to get a better look at her, he knew that something was wrong since she didn’t try to bolt or pay him any attention. He could identify with not having the strength to carry on with life. He had been there too, and was lucky enough to have someone who cared enough to be there for him. He didn’t think the cat he found belonged to anyone and was getting ready to die where it lay.
His heart went out to the poor creature and he scooped her up, determined to try and do something. Sean returned to his apartment, got her warmed up and tried feeding her some chicken he hadn’t finished from the night before. She showed no interest in food or water and only continued to lie on the towel he had bunched up around her to make her more comfortable. He eventually made up his mind to call a vet and had the stray cat in front of a veterinarian within an hour. After a quick exam and a few questions for Sean she told him that the animal probably wouldn’t make it through the night, but if he wanted she could keep it for observation since they had some free space in their kennels. Sean agreed, and was amazed when the vet had called him the next day around noon to let him know that the cat was showing signs of improvement and he was asked if he wanted to take responsibility for the animal.
Before he could think about it he surprised himself by saying yes, and in a few weeks he was the owner of a white flame-point cat in need of a good home, and a name. It took her a month and a half to regain her weight and to be cured of her ailments, but she recovered and showed her appreciation to Sean every day. She never missed an opportunity to leap into his lap whenever he sat down, or to cuddle up next to him when he slept. No matter what mood he was in her dainty meows, and affectionate purrs always did something to put him in a better place. When he sat down to try and relax she was there in an instant requesting her petting tithe. He didn’t fully understand it, but her mere presence made him feel more serene when he gave her attention, and that’s how she ended up with the name of Serenity.
The apartment building he lived in was far from the quality of living he had grown accustomed to. He lived on the fourth floor of a six story building in a neighborhood that had certainly seen better days. It didn’t look like the ghetto, and it didn’t have the same kind of reputation of where Chris’ house was, but it was definitely in need of a good neighborhood cleaning. The main lobby was small and had an elevator that had been out of order ever since he had moved in. The only way up to the other floors were by the use of the stairs with their worn out linoleum and a missing banister from the third to fourth floor. His place was the second door on the right down a dimly lit hall that had rust colored carpeting in need of replacement. He shared the floor with five other apartments two of which he was pretty sure had no tenants. He was grateful that he barely heard his neighbors and for the most part they all seemed to be like him, quiet, reclusive, and wanting nothing to do with other people’s business.
Sean stopped in front of the door with the white numbers 403 professionally printed on a piece of dark plastic, and habitually had his key already in hand to unlock both locks. After he had closed his door and redid the locks, Serenity was at his feet with her back arched and rubbing her side against his leg, happy that he was home.
“Sorry I’m late girl,” he spoke to his cat pretending she could understand him. “We had another one of those last minute rushes, and you know how that can be. But, I didn’t forget about you.”
He petted her briefly and she gave him one of her silent meows where her mouth opened without sound, and she looked up at him with wide hungry eyes.
“I know, I know, you’re hungry.” He stood up and walked straight through his living room and into the kitchen. “Come on, let’s feed you.”
Serenity didn’t wait for the can of cat food to touch the floor, and had already thrust her head over the chicken flavored chunks covered in some kind of gravy. It didn’t look appetizing to Sean, but if it made his cat happy, it didn’t bother him.
While she ate he eagerly stripped off his clothes that reeked of the food and ice cream smell of the restaurant and hopped into the shower. Always mindful of his pendant he was ritualistically careful that it never left his neck for an instant. The water took away the smell and feel of his workplace and helped revive him so that he could spend a couple of hours finishing his college homework before getting himself to bed.
His decision to attend college was rather spontaneous, and ultimately seemed like a good way to help kill the time while he stayed in Louisville. At first, applying seemed like it was going to be difficult, because he didn’t have much of anything to put down for educational experience, or background information. But he tried and mysteriously his paperwork went through, and he got accepted. He imagined that his uncle could’ve had a hand in it, or maybe even anticipated that he would do such a thing and made arrangements. It wouldn’t surprise him. Gregor was very good at making plans and Sean was always amazed at how far in advance he could anticipate things.
Shortly after he applied and was accepted he started to realize that he was going through his money too quickly and wasn’t sure how long he would be able to make it last. Luckily it wasn’t too late for him to get a student loan, and he used that to substitute some of the money that he would have otherwise spent. As long as he stayed a full time student he wouldn’t have to make any payments on the loan, and he figured by the time things blew over with the Veil he’d be able to get back in contact with his uncle and he would more than likely pay the entire thing off.
However, what if it took more than a year until he heard from his uncle again? What kind of financial situation would he be in? Sean had gone over his expenditures and bills and figured out how long his money would last him if he continued living the way he was. He found that he could last a little more than a year if he didn’t have any expensive unforeseen problems. He started off with a hundred and nineteen thousand dollars and had more than half of that left in his account. It was shocking how fast he had spent his money, but at least he realized before it was too late that he would have to ration what he had left.
Signing up for college was a great way for him to stay occupied, but he still found himself feeling bored and looking for something to do, so he went job hunting. He filled out at least a dozen applications and sat through five interviews and learned that he wasn’t very personable, and that most jobs did not offer a fair amount of money for the work required. Still though, something was better than nothing and he stuck with the first place that was willing to take him.
Sean wasn’t a quitter and had developed some work ethics with the time he spent helping Carlos do the odd jobs around the manor. When given a task he wouldn’t stop until he finished it. He didn’t know why. He just didn’t like the feeling of being responsible for something and leaving it incomplete. Carlos told him that it meant he had honor and with that he could earn the respect of others and they would recognize him as a good man.
Sean got dressed in a comfortable pair of sweats and a t-shirt, and settled down on his couch with his calculus book in front him. He felt ready to tackle the last two homework equations his professor gave the class Monday. Calculus was a funny subject for him, because he always did better when he didn’t think about it too hard, but when he paid attention and tried to comprehend the formulas he started messing up.
Right before he was about to write out his first equation, Serenity leaped up to his lap and knocked the pencil from his hand. She darted after it excited that she had discovered a new cat toy, and swatted it into the kitchen where it would slide across the floor better. “Hey”, Sean laughed. Had it been anyone or anything else Sean would have been mad, but since it was the cat that he had rescued, he was much more understanding. She was happy that he was home and wanted a little attention.
He watched her for a minute feeling amused with her playful antics as she pretended that the pencil was some sort of prey that she had to sneak up on and pounce. Sean went over to the coffee table in front of the couch and dug through her bucket of toys. He found a laser pointer in the shape of a grey mouse with a button on top of its head and went back to his cat that was looking at him with curiosity. He pressed the button to produce the little red dot and instantly Serenity took off after it sliding across the floor in her mad haste to catch it. He made a couple of circuits through the kitchen and living room, and delighted in seeing how she vaulted over the furniture, slid across the kitchen floor, and tried climbing the walls in her desire to final catch the elusive red dot.
After about five minutes of playing with Serenity, Sean recovered his pencil and settled back down to get his homework done. He sat Indian style on his couch with his back part way up against the arm. He opened his text book and set it on the couch and had his spiral notebook on the opposite side, making allowance for his cat to latter settle down in the bowl he created with his legs. Sure enough before he could even get halfway done with his first math problem there she was making herself comfortable in his lap and purring contentedly.
By the time he completed his last math problem he had yawned at least twice, and the time on his TV cable box said it was 2:15 in the morning. He folded the sheets of graph paper into his text book and tossed everything onto the long coffee table that ran the length of the couch. There it would sit until he was ready to take it with him to class in about four hours. He felt like he would be comfortable sleeping right where he was, but he knew if he did he would probably wake up in the morning with a back or a neck cramp.
Regrettably he nudged his cat off his lap and went into the bathroom to brush his teeth. He opened up the medicine cabinet which was behind the mirror and wondered for a brief instant if he should try taking a sleeping pill, but decided that it would make it too difficult for him to get up in time for Basic English at seven a.m. Maybe if he made himself sleep less than four hours he wouldn’t have to worry about dreaming. Normally he would use five or six pills if he knew he could have six uninterrupted hours, but even if he took less than his normal dose he didn’t know for sure how that would affect him when it came time to wake up. He figured it was better to risk the nightmares than to miss his class.
He finished brushing then crossed the hall to his bedroom where Serenity was already waiting in the middle of the bed stretched out trying to take up as much room as her little body could. Sean let her keep her spot and laid down on his side pulling his blankets over his shoulders careful not to cover up his cat. She hated that, and the last thing he wanted to do was to make her feel unwelcomed on his bed. He couldn’t remember precisely, but he thought he had read or heard somewhere that cats were supposed to help ward off nightmares. Whether or not that was true her presence near him did feel reassuring and he knew that had to do something to help.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-30 02:27:38)
Not really. I messed up with what I thought was my first post. There's actually more to it that further describes how Sean has recovered from his traumatic camping trip and is now living his life. I admit that I probably drew it out too much and much of this will get edited out, so feel free to skim through this part of chapter five if you start to find it too boring. I hope it's not boring, but only you, my readers, can determine that.
Here's the rest of the first section I wanted to show you...
He woke up with the first annoying beep of his alarm clock. It felt like he had just blinked and all of a sudden it was time for him to get up. He wasn’t in a rush to turn off the alarm and rolled onto his back so that he could properly stretch. Serenity had moved during the night to find a place on the pillow his head was resting on. He wasn’t sure but he thought that she might have been licking his hair, because even after he got up out of bed he could smell something similar to the can food he fed her last night.
“Ugh! Cat breath,” he remarked as he stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He figured he could afford the extra time to shampoo and rinse his hair in the bathroom sink, and it could naturally dry on his way to the campus. Before he finished in the bathroom he leaned in close to the mirror to make sure that his hair dye was holding up still. The last time he had applied it was a week ago and it was still hiding the white. He made a mental note to try the same brand again next time.
Hurriedly he shoved his books into his backpack, swiped an apple and a banana from the bowl of fruit on his kitchen table, and gave his cat a quick pat before heading out the door. He left his apartment building and started jogging toward the subway station. If he hurried he could still make the earlier train and could take his time getting to class once at the university. He crossed a busy street that had a bunch of cars bumper to bumper, because someone had gotten into an accident at a nearby intersection, and the police needed the lane to deal with the problem. Seeing such sights reminded him again why he walked instead of driving in the city. Everyone here drove like maniacs and it made Sean to nervous to get behind the wheel. There was a parking garage a block and a half from where he lived and his car hadn’t moved from that spot in a week and a half.
Luckily he made it on to the subway train a second before the doors closed. So far the day was turning out to be pretty good. He had no nightmares, felt rested despite how little sleep he had actually gotten and caught the early train that would drop him off at the platform inside the campus. If things continued to go his way he figured he might just play the lottery tonight. He smiled at the thought of it, and then in hindsight thought better of it. He still had to lay low, and even though it was unlikely that he would actually win, he still didn’t want to risk the publicity.
The train made two stops before it arrived at the college platform, and he disembarked. He made his way through the crowd of all the other students trying to get to their classes on time and started walking down South Brook Street. He still had fifteen minutes to make it to the Bringham Humanities building which would give him plenty of time to sit down on one of the benches just outside and eat his banana. He took his time eating while watching all the different types of people hurrying in and out of the building, but mostly in.
In the beginning when he first started classes, the whole experience of being around a crowd of people made him feel anxious and on edge. He found it difficult to relax even while focusing on calm images within his imagination, and in his first week of classes he did a very poor job of keeping notes and staying focused on the lessons being taught. That weekend he used the universities library to educate himself with the fact that he had a mild case of Enochlophobia; a fear of being around a crowd of people. After he identified what was wrong with him and read up on simple ways he could adjust the way he thought, he made progress with overcoming his anxiety, and he made a dramatic improvement with his class performance.
Now he took pleasure in watching all the little things that people did and how they acted. He found crowds to be less disconcerting when he picked one interesting individual and concentrated on what ever made them interesting. He was astounded with how much information he was actually able to pick up from people just by observing them in a nonintrusive manner.
He got to his class with a couple of minutes to spare. The professor talked about great literary writers and what made the works capable of withstanding the test of time. Although he had a very dry and boring tone regurgitating the same lesson plan he probably used his entire career, Sean still found the topic to be very interesting especially since his uncle had probably met some of the greats personally. Next semester he was already planning on taking some kind of history class.
After English he had an hour to kill before his nine o’clock class of calculus in the Science building. He did what his normal routine was and headed to where his next class would be and worked on his English essay. He usually finished most of it before class started, and today he was able to complete a handwritten copy before the teacher even showed up. All he would have to do is type it up on his computer after he got home and he would be finished.
His math class was quite the opposite of his English one. The teacher tried to make the subject more interesting by showing everyone how a math problem could potentially be applied to real life, and she sometimes made her voice sound funny to get her class to laugh and stay interested in what was going on. Sean was doing his best and had to try twice as hard as all the other students just to maintain his C+ grade, unfortunately numbers just weren’t his forte. He did every extra credit problem the teacher offered and even stayed after class when she could afford the time to go over a particular point. She knew Sean was struggling with the material and that he was making an effort to do well, which was probably the reason why he had earned the grade he had currently, otherwise it would be much lower.
But, today he was having a great day, and he was able to fully grasp the formulae she was teaching. He still stayed after class for a few minutes anyway just to make sure he understood it correctly and his teacher even gave him a compliment hoping that he was finally getting the hang of it.
His Wednesday classes were over by ten, but he commonly made it take longer, and would head out of the building around ten-thirty. Depending on what day it was and if he did not have anything else to do, he would normally head to the cafeteria and have his lunch among the vast crowd of students. In doing this he was helping himself face his phobia and to overcome it. The more he watched people the more he learned about them which gave him power over his anxiety. People-watching was becoming something that he was enjoying.
He did suppose other people observing him at a glance might find him to be a little bit creepy, always sitting alone and staring, but he didn’t really care. In fact he preferred it that way so he wouldn’t have to worry about making friends and subjecting them to the troubles in his life. It was the way he rationalized keeping a low profile and not endangering anyone. Although, if for some reason something did happen to his pendant and the giant beast suddenly found him again there could be a lot of people getting hurt. He hoped if he had no special attachment to anyone then the beast would only focus on him. That way he could lead the thing away to a less crowded place and let happen whatever would happen.
Sean cursed under his breath for allowing his thoughts to get on that topic. He hated thinking about it because there was nothing he could do, and the more he brooded the more it crippled his life to the point he couldn’t do anything. If he was going to die then he was going to die, but he wasn’t going to waste his life just sitting around waiting for it to happen. He had spent too long cooped up in his uncle’s manor only to come out and let fear cripple his life. He was going to do the best job he could of imitating his uncle and live life to its fullest.
It was rather interesting how when people were everyday normal they wished to have the extraordinary in their lives, but when someone like Sean was extraordinary they usually wanted to experience a normal life. He guessed people were always wanting whatever they couldn’t have and that was simply their nature.
He took his time eating his food and people watching while keeping an eye on his breathing and heart rate, making sure he was staying calm, especially since he hadn’t transformed in over a week now. The longest he had gone without becoming a werewolf was a month and by that time it was nearly impossible for him to resist the change. If he gave himself the chance to change on a regular basis he found it easier to control when and where it happened. His usual routine was once every week or two he would head out to Cherokee Park after dark and find an out of the way place to park his car. He would make sure he had a change of clothes in his car and he would hide his keys nearby, sometimes digging a small hole or hiding it under a rock. Then he would move deeper into the woods remove his clothes he was wearing and try to calmly let the transformation happen.
After doing this a couple of times he eventually got wise enough to place some extra clothes inside large zip-lock bags and stash them at different locations throughout the park. It was far better than to wake up naked and have to go streaking all the way back to his car. More than once he found himself as far as the Cave Hill National Cemetery and he decided to increase the area in which he kept his wardrobe. Periodically when he had nothing else better to do he would head out to those areas and explore them as he checked the locations of his hidden stashes. So far, at least to his knowledge there, hadn’t been any incidents reported about a Bigfoot running amuck or unusual killings.
To date his success varied, but he still could not retain conscious control over his alternate form after the complete transformation. He tried not to be frustrated, but he just could not think of anything else he could do that would improve his ability to take charge of the werewolf within him. The coming up weekend would make it two weeks since the last time he let himself go, and he knew that he would have to make plans to get it done on either Saturday or Sunday.
However, for now, this wasn’t something that he had to be immediately concerned with so he decided to head back to his apartment and relax until it was time for him to head into work for another eight hour shift. Once back at his place his cat came running over to him giving him her usual greeting with her tail slightly wrapping around his leg in a kitty hug. He smiled at her and gave her some attention thinking that they both understood what it meant to be appreciated.
He dropped his backpack on the couch and hopped on his computer to check his emails. As usual he hadn’t received any from anyone he knew, but had about five in his spam folder. He went through them just to be safe, and before he could get sucked into reading whatever special offer they were advertising he deleted them.
He drummed his fingers on his desk looking around his apartment trying to think of something that he wanted to do. He thought about playing a video game on his computer or Xbox, but didn’t want to risk getting too sucked into a virtual world and track of time. He had been late to work once for that reason and promised himself he wouldn’t make that same mistake twice. He thought about picking up a new novel from his shelf and perhaps getting a couple of chapters into it before work, but decided he wasn’t really into reading. He was feeling tense.
Without many options he finally decided on retrieving his sword from his bedroom and heading up to the rooftop to practice.
He was still sitting in his computer chair and he looked down at his warm lap not remembering exactly when Serenity had jumped up. She did it so often he thought he would only notice it if she didn’t do it.
“Hey Seren, want to come up to the roof with me?” he asked her as he scratched her behind the ears. She looked up at him with her eyes squinting in a kitty smile and purred. Gently he nudged her off his lap and went down the hallway into his bedroom to grab his sword that was resting on two “Y” shaped blocks of wood. Serenity followed him out of curiosity, sensing that he was up to something. He went back down the hall, into the kitchen and over to the triple window that his kitchen table covered up half of. He slid the window up and stepped out onto the fire escape scaffolding that would take him up to the roof top where there would be plenty of room to use his sword-chi.
He left the window open and looked back to see an uncertain Serenity looking back at him. Although he offered, she seldom ever went outside. Only once did he catch her sneak up to the rooftop to investigate what he was doing up there, but as soon as she saw that he noticed her she darted back down into the apartment as though she wasn’t supposed to be seen. Sean didn’t let it bother him and allowed her to be herself. He guessed if he was a cat that nearly died on the street; he too would probably rather stay safe indoors and live a life of luxury.
Sean carefully went up the narrow fire escape steps and swung over the low wall to the top of the tar covered roof. For the most part the area was unobstructed. There were a couple of metal pipes, some vent ducts, five large AC units, and a locked door that led to the service stairs which left him plenty of room to move about and swing his sword without having to worry if he hit anything.
Even though the temperature was in the forties, which was cold to some, he removed his shirt and set it down on the ground near the low wall that he had just entered from. He knew that once he got into the flow of things he would be building up a sweat in no time. He didn’t know how other people practiced, but he liked working out his own routines. The way he came up with them was that he imagined different types of opponents and carefully planned out each attack and block like coming up with a script. Then he worked on memorizing every step and going through each move in slow motion making them perfectly precise. Later, once he had gone through the moves so many times he had them committed to memory he would launch himself into full speed and let his instincts walk his body through the motions.
He enjoyed doing this so much that he started to keep a drawing pad full of notes and pictures of the different sword-chi dances. With a little practice he had learned how to draw a decent outline of a human body and his pictures weren’t half bad.
A month ago one of the black opals on his hilt had turned white, and as his uncle had instructed he popped it off and held it on to one of the dented in moons of the hilt. He held it in place for a few seconds not sure if it would stay or if he would have to do something to make it stay. When he removed pressure the stone was stuck in the hilt as though it had always been a part of it. He didn’t know what sort of affect it had, because noticed nothing different, but he did remember that the sword would likely find some way to aid him in regards to his mental state. He didn’t let his lack of knowing bother him. All he knew, and what really mattered was that when he practiced he found an element of peace within himself and believed that anything was possible.
A half-hour into his newest dance that he was working on he noticed out of the peripheral his vision that his cat had come up the fire escape and was watching him from the edge of the wall. He pretended not to notice her so she wouldn’t spook and run off like she did the last time. She stayed for about ten minutes before losing interest and headed back down.
He remained up there for two hours getting a good work out executing every move with deadly accuracy. It was a new dance that he had been working on that he entitled “Trident” where the weapons his three opponents had were a spear and two samurai long swords, like his. He was still getting used to the routine and wasn’t ready yet to let himself go all out. Maybe tomorrow though, he would be. Regardless, he still enjoyed that positive feeling that flowed through him during and after his sword-chi. It instilled a positive outlook, and he looked forward to whatever might happen.
He checked the time on his phone and saw he had about an hour to get ready for work, so he sheathed his sword, picked up his shirt, and headed back down the fire escape. He caught a glance of his cat peeking out the window as he descended, and she quickly ducked back in trying to act like she hadn’t done so. Sean climbed back into his apartment and almost decided against taking a shower before heading into work. It seemed pointless to wash up only to get sweaty and gross by the duties of a dishwasher, but impressions were important and he didn’t like it when people thought poorly of him.
nice job keep it coming.
Thankyou Lonewolf for being a devoted reader. Your simple kind words do more than you might suspect to keep me writing.
As I promised here's more. I think you'll like the ending to this segment.
Chris was having a rough night with tips. She tried to tune out the disgusting thoughts that came from her male customers, but tonight she was feeling overwhelmed. She still had a chemistry test she needed to study for and a book report she had to type out for English II, not to mention she had to stay at her house this evening, because Tara and Dawn feared they might get hit with a surprise room inspection. They had already gotten in trouble once for having an unauthorized guest in their room, and now the dorm manager was unfairly sensitive to her being there.
She could probably cheat on her test again by seeing what answers she could pick from the nerds up front. There were two of them that had very clear and organized thoughts and if she could keep up with them she would have a chance at acing her test. Unfortunately, with the book report she’d have to buckle down and get it done herself. It was due on Friday morning so she knew that tomorrow would be spent in the library with her head in the books and great big thermos of coffee.
“Chris, what’s with you today?” Ed asked her as she came zipping off the floor to the salvation of the kitchen area. “How are you going to get any good tips if you’re not being attentive to your customers? You’re always saying that you need the extra money, and I’m trying to be nice to you by keeping your section full. If you don’t want the work tell me and I’ll let some of the other waitresses take your load.”
Ed wasn’t a bad guy as far as men went. He was tall with white speckling his black hair and solid patches of white above both ears, which he called his wings. He had a wife and two kids and tried hard to stay devoted to them, but it wasn’t easy for a man to remain chaste in his thought with most of the young college girls dressing up the way they did. Ed was just another guy whose thoughts and actions were driven by desire, although the things his mind showed were more decent than the college boys. Chris got her job here just like all the other waitresses did, because she was pretty.
“I’m sorry!” she said. “I just have a headache, but I took some Tylenol, so I should be fine now,” she lied.
“Are you sure?”
“Yea! I got this.”
“Good, because Debbie is feeling sick so I’m letting her take off, and I need you to finish up her two last tables.”
Chris had to make an effort to say thank you and not roll her eyes. She really was hurting for money, and she needed to make another two hundred bucks by Friday to pay the water company. She’d been behind on the water bill by a month all year and getting by with just paying the minimum amount necessary. Now they were telling her that her bill had been outstanding for too long and that if she didn’t pay in full they were going to shut off the water to her house.
She tried to relax and pretend not to pickup every dirty little slimy thing the people in the restaurant were thinking, but she was too stressed and she was having trouble managing her telepathy. Some days it was a gift, like when she needed to pass a critical test, and at other times it was a curse, like today. She wished she could just go outside and let out all of her frustration by screaming, but she didn’t want to be near that strange guy in the back that Ed had hired as the new dishwasher.
Chris didn’t know what to make of him. He always had his mind encased in a shell wrapped up so tight she couldn’t find a single weak point or loose thread anywhere. She had stopped trying to penetrate his thoughts a couple of weeks after he was hired. It was during a night when she left early and had to come back because she forgot her math homework on the break table in the back room. All the customers were gone and it was only Ed, Sean, and Debbie left in the restaurant. She figured she could slip in real quick, grab her paper, and leave. As she stepped behind the counter she saw Sean with his back to her kneeling on the ground putting away a bunch of ice cream dishes. As was becoming her habit she tried to peek into his mind again.
That’s when she realized he could feel her every time she tried, because he gave a start and dropped the dish he was holding in his hand. Glass shattered across the floor and Ed yelled at him to be more careful. Sean never said anything to her though.
If he knew what she was doing, then what did he think of her? The only reason she was trying so hard to get into his head was so that she could see how he made his mental shields so tight. She could only dream of shielding her own mind so well, and then she could choose who’s thoughts she heard and who’s she didn’t.
She never encountered anyone before who had felt her listening. Sometimes there were people who protected their thoughts better than most, but they always had cracks or loose spots that she could spot in a second, and they never even knew she was there peeking. From doing that she had learned that sometimes there were other people who were aware and that they took people like her away. She learned very early to keep her mouth shut and never let anyone else know what she could do.
Everything was fine for the most part until Sean showed up. He never did anything to threaten her, hardly said a word to anyone, and kept to himself most of the time. She couldn’t even recall seeing him smile once since he had started working there. She did wonder if maybe he was like her and didn’t want anyone else to find out that he was special too, but she couldn’t risk taking the first step, because if she was wrong… she didn’t know what would happen.
She tried to just focus on the actual voices she heard entering through her ears, but it was so hard to filter them out. The floor was buzzing with all sorts of chatter, some of it appropriate, and some of it not. Chris forced herself to go out onto the floor armed with the knowledge that there was only one more hour left until she could be off. She headed over to Debbie’s two tables and saw that one of them was already gone and had left their tip. It was ten dollars! It did a lot to boost her spirits and she thought tonight might prove to be worth it if she could hang in there.
She turned to see if the patrons at the other booth needed anything, and her happiness level increased again when she saw that they were finishing up and leaving a twenty dollar bill on the tip tray. She gave them her best smile and said in the most positive voice she could muster, “Thank you gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and revisit us soon.”
She picked up the twenty dollar bill, and for the first time really noticed her customers. They were five, two older men, and three younger, possibly college students. It wasn’t so much as their appearance that shocked her, but the lack of thought or sound coming from their table, and the way they all stared at her with blank expressions on their faces somehow conveying the image of psychotic predators. The way they looked at her made her feel like she was intruding and caused her face to go instantly slack. Chris just turned and walked away with the twenty in her hand, all the while being more and more aware of the one deathly quiet spot on her floor.
She waited behind the counter until the disconcerting space of void thought left the restaurant. She didn’t dare try to look at their faces again. There was something creepy about them, more so than the dishwasher. Sean was distant, but not hostile. The other five men looked like they were killers.
Even if she didn’t have a sensitive mind she figured guys that looked like they did would still get awkward response from people similar to how she just behaved in front of them. Hopefully they never noticed that she was different.
One of her duties was to clear the tables, wipe them clean and carry all the dirty dishes into the back where Sean could wash them. Sometimes, like tonight, she would be too busy, and Sean would come out to the floor with a bus pan and help clear off the tables. She had no desire to go anywhere near the spot where the creeps had been sitting, so she waited until Sean could get to the table.
When he did finally get to it she found herself paying close attention to him, and saw him act weird. He set his bus pan down and stared at the area for a few seconds with a scrutinizing expression. He then careful picked up every item looking at them separately before placing it in the bus pan. He even brought a couple of things up to his face and sniffed them, looking like he was disgusted.
After he smelled what he had in his hand, two of the customers from a nearby booth looked at him strangely. Chris was further confused when she heard their thoughts tell her that Sean’s face wasn’t curled back with disgust, but he had actually growled. He growled?! Who acted like that? Did Sean have some kind of connection to the creeps? Could they possibly be there to take him away?
All Chris knew for sure was that she was going to keep her distance and not get involved. It was what she had done before, still did, and would continue to do. That’s how she was able to stay safe.
She finished up the rest of her shift while avoiding Sean the best she could. She threw on her sweatshirt, and swapped her work shoes for her sneakers. Her work shoes were supposed to help keep people from slipping, but she couldn’t tell the difference between them and her regular sneakers. Ed, however, insisted that everyone wore the shoes that were issued to them, because it was policy. It annoyed her, but not enough for her to make a fuss over it. She needed to keep her job after all.
She left the restaurant and started walking. She had about a two mile hike to get to her house and she hated the area she lived in. The place was run down and she hadn’t the slightest clue as to how to maintain everything in a house. If she could she would’ve sold the place for any amount of money she could get. She didn’t care if someone bought it for an eighth of its true market value. She just wanted to be rid of the damned thing, but her stupid father wouldn’t let her, and since the house was in his name she couldn’t do anything about it.
Her father was a marine and he was never around. When her grandfather passed away the house was left to them in his will which constituted that it would be split 50/50 between them both. Her dad said that she could use the house to live in while she attended college, and gave her the condition that once she finished with a degree then she could own the whole thing and sell it if she wanted too. She was halfway done. All she had to do was get her associates degree, sell the house and then she could get the hell out of there.
It was a little after midnight and she had covered half the distance to her house. It was still cold and she wondered if they might get an early snowfall this year. Her jacket remained open because the zipper on one side was missing some of its teeth. She had her hands jammed into the pockets and pressed it close to her body trying to contain as much body heat as she could.
She was alone on the street she was heading down and it didn’t usually bother her, but since the incident at work, her overactive imagination was making shapes out of the shadows, and she felt like someone was watching her. Every now and then she’d stop and glance over her shoulder just to be sure, but there was never anyone there. She even scanned with her mind listening for thoughts, but heard nothing. Despite what her senses told her she still couldn’t shake the feeling. Chris kept on walking trying to distract her mind from creating trouble that wasn’t there.
Suddenly she heard the soft sound of someone’s shoe scuffle along the sidewalk behind her, but it was too late. An arm grabbed her around the waist and neck and started to drag her toward the shadows of a nearby alley. She tried to scream, but the man’s forearm was crushing her larynx, and she couldn’t breathe. He was evidently taller and stronger than her, but none of that would matter if she could get a chance to see him.
She tried to reach out with her mind to see if she could do anything to scramble his head, but there was nothing there. It was a void.
Her terror level shot through the roof, and a burst of adrenaline gave her the strength to slip out of the grasp of her assailant. She whipped around and shoved blindly with her mind knocking the man off his feet with a glancing blow. He fell backwards, but a wall was there to prevent him from falling.
In an instant she recognized her assailants as the five creepy customers from the restaurant, but she only saw four. Where was the fifth one?
She looked around while backing up and trying to asses her situation. Before she took more than a few steps something solid clanged into the back of her skull, and she collapsed. She was stunned lying there on the ground trying to get her bearings. She could hear the five of them laughing at her in a sinister way. Between the poor lighting and the concussion she had just received she couldn’t get her eyes to see anything clearly. One of the men was hovering over her and grabbed a hold of her shirt. She tried to shove him away, but her arms had been sapped of their strength.
He yanked back with a sharp jerk and she could feel her shirt being ripped down the middle. An all new set of warning bells were going off in her head and she tried to muster up the strength to do something, anything, but her body would not respond to her commands. The dark edges of her vision were growing inward and she felt as though she were staring down a tunnel.
“Hey buddy, get lost,” she heard one of the mysterious creeps yell.
She managed to turn her head and catch a glimpse of who they were yelling at. It was hard to tell, because her eye sight was acting all funny, but she was fairly certain she recognized Sean standing at the mouth of the alleyway. She sensed the attacker on top of her get off and she presumed that all five men were directing their attention at Sean. She couldn’t see him anymore now that they were all blocking her view, as though they were standing between their prize and someone who would try to steal it from them. Surely Sean couldn’t take on all five of them, but maybe he could distract them long enough for her to get away.
She struggled to roll over and found she barely had the ability to do that. Chris realized she didn’t have the slightest hope in running away, but maybe she could hide somewhere. All she had to do was to force her body to move a little bit.
Her mind froze. What had she just heard? At first she thought it was Sean, but then it became something else. Like… like… That was the last thing she could think of before she blacked out.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-31 00:34:52)
There you go... what do you think about Chris? She's going to be another main character that will have a lot of interaction with Sean. She's a character that will be used to show and explain more of the psychic aspect within my story.
I know in most of my posts I usually have several questions I throw out there to my readers, but perhaps it's too much, so I'll try to keep my questions down to one. Here it is...
Thus far, what do you guys think about how I portray the psychic abilities, especially the telepathy?
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-31 03:28:03)
Happy new year!!! I hope everyone had a great 2009, and may the best moments of your previous year be worse than anything you experience in 2010. (I know the wording may seem a bit tricky, but this is not an insult. It's a modified toast I heard once from a movie I liked.)
I've got chapter six complete! I have it broken down to four posts and its ready and waiting to be read, plus there's one more that finishes up the chapter you're currently reading. I'm just waiting to see a post from you guys. I'm kind of feeling that Lonewolf is my only dedicated reader, of which I am extremely grateful, but I wish I could gain a few more, and any input additional readers might be willing to give
With that mopey request being said... let me quote something from a writer I have great admiration for "How many people are still reading this?" ( any guesses as to who I'm quoting?)
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-01 04:46:44)
love this story. Was away w/the holidays but you a well developed and complex storyline. Cant wait to see more!
Yay! A Post
Thanks mrRW! I've been wondering where you've been It's good to hear hear that you're back safe and sound. I hope you had a great holiday.
I think I can put you on the list as one of my faithful readers. That officially makes 2.
Here's the conclusion to chapter five....
Sean woke up lying on the carpeted floor of his living room feeling a cold draft along his backside. He was naked and knew that he was waking up from the werewolf within him having taken over his body. Serenity was sitting right by his face six inches away. His forehead and cheek felt slightly raw as though she had been licking him. When she saw his eyes open she put her paw on his nose and tilted her head wondering about Sean. He had no idea what she saw or what her tiny little kitty brain thought of him, but he thought it would’ve been amusing to know.
He started to sit up and felt his chest hurt like it had been burned, but he saw no physical mark. He tried to recall what happened, but couldn’t remember anything beyond following Chris on her usual path home. His apartment was dark and he stood up to hit the light switch next to the door. Everything was still locked and the door hadn’t been torn off the hinges, so he figured he probably came in through the window.
Why though? His werewolf alter ego had never shown up here at the apartment, at least not to his knowledge. As he turned around he saw a very familiar girl lying on his couch, and the sudden sight made him jump back into his front door. He was thankful the sound didn’t’ wake her, because what a sight that would be with him standing there wearing nothing.
He looked Chris over real fast as he made a run for his bedroom to get dressed. The front of her shirt was torn down past her belly exposing half her chest. Thankfully her bra was still there covering her up, otherwise that would probably contribute to even more awkward questions if she awoke. Most importantly she was breathing, and that was enough to reassure him he had a second to get decent.
He threw on black sweats and a blue t-shirt with a red dragon that wrapped around the back and front twice over. He hurried back over to her after hastily grabbing a sheet from his closet at the end of the hallway.
Sean looked Chris over again double checking to see if he could find anything else wrong with her. Now that he was dressed and his panic subsided he was more aware of the burning feeling he had in the center of his chest. He wondered if maybe she might’ve had something similar happen to her so he took a moment to look more closely, but saw nothing.
Chris started to stir, and he immediately jumped to his feet suddenly very much aware of what part of her body he was staring at. He quickly unfolded the sheet and threw it over her hoping that she wasn’t aware enough yet to realize he was there. She started to move her head and that’s when he saw some of the dried blood caked onto the couch where her head had been resting.
“Ow, ow, ow,” Chris moaned as she tried to lift herself up. She brought both of her hands up to the sides of her skull as if to hold it in place.
“Are you okay?” Sean asked.
“Wha… who?” Chris tried to open her eyes but had a dazed and confused look on her face. She moved her arm up to help block out the ceiling light as though it was too bright and hurt her eyes.
Sean felt like it was the stupidest question he could ask her, and that he needed to get a grip on himself and start taking care of Chris the way he should. He told her, “Try not to move,” as he padded into the kitchen to get some wet washcloths to clean her up and maybe get a better look at her wound. As he stepped into the kitchen he understood how he, as a werewolf, had gotten into the apartment. Half of the triple window was smashed inward and broken on the floor. There were more than a few shards of glass lying about and he tried to avoid stepping on them. He would worry about dealing with that problem later, after he took care of Chris.
He returned to her and knelt down next to the couch so he could get a better look at the back of her head without her having to move it too much. She still moaned and weekly protested him touching the severe injury. Sean stuck a towel under her head to catch any dripping water as he cleaned the blood caked on her hair. He got it clean enough to see that her skin was split open, but he couldn’t see bone.
“I can’t see any white, so you may not have any fractures, but I still think we should get you to a hospital,” Sean told her as got up and walked back into the kitchen where his phone was charging on the kitchen counter.
“Nooo…” Chris moaned. She sounded like her head really hurt and she was barely aware of what was happening to her. Sean feared she might have suffered a concussion, and understood the best thing he could do was to keep her awake until an ambulance arrived. He hoped that somehow he wouldn’t get shoved into the spotlight and be forced to answer a bunch of question to which he could make no satisfactory answer unless he lied. A situation like that could open up a whole new world of problems that he wasn’t ready for. He tried to concentrate on one thing at a time, and for the moment that was making sure Chris received medical attention.
Sean walked back into the living room and leaned on the other end of the couch where Chris’ feet were. “I need to call for an ambulance,” he said as he started punching in numbers on his cell phone.
“No!” This time Chris was much more insistent. Her eyes were open by a slither and she reached out with her hand in Sean’s general direction as if she were trying to grab for something that kept on moving. To Sean’s surprise the phone in his hand leapt from his to hers, as though Chris had willed it. He had already known that she was telepathic, but telekinetic too? This was a first!
Sean stared at her in amazement as she did her best to focus on the tiny numbers and press them to get the numbers she wanted to appear on the screen. By the time he had gotten over what she did she was holding the phone up to ear waiting for someone to answer. “Who did she call?” he wondered.
“Tara?” Chris said weekly.
Sean tried to listen, but his ears weren’t sensitive enough to pick up the sound. That was hardly a problem for him though. All he had to do was concentrate on the sound and he could feel his ears tingle ever so slightly like a small amount of electricity was going through them. With his hearing was enhanced he was able to pick up on what was being said on the other end.
“Tara, I need your help.”
“Where are you!?” Sean could hear the reply of the female voice from the other end sounding urgent.
“I…I… don’t know.”Chris tried to look around seeing the place for the first time, and looking confused. It was evident that she was having trouble comprehending her surroundings.
Sean went to Chris’ side. “Let me talk to your friend,” he said as he gently coaxed the phone from her hands. “I can tell them what happened and tell them how to get here. Okay?”
Chris relinquished the phone as Sean could hear “Tara” on the other end shout, “Chris, who was that? Are you okay?”
“Hello?” Sean said into his phone.
“Hello, who is this?” the other woman said.
“My name is Se... Jonathan and I found your friend. I think she had gotten hit in the head by something and probably needs to get medical attention.”
“Where are you?” Tara asked.
Sean could hear in the background another voice ask, “T, what’s going on?” It sounded like another female. It was possible that she was listening to a headset, because he could hear the sound of music pop to life with a low bass. Sean gave Tara directions on how to get to his apartment, and tried to tell her that he was going to call an ambulance and that she might want to meet her at the hospital.
He was surprised when Tara told him in a very stern voice, “No! You stay! I’ll be right there,” and then she hung up.
“Great!” Sean thought to himself. “Just what I need, more drama.” He had no idea what he was going to tell this Tara person when she showed up, or what might happen afterwards. Would Chris’s friends be special in some way too? Would they accuse Sean of being responsible for what happened to Chris? He hoped not. He started to feel panicky as all sorts of different possible scenarios played out in his mind’s eye.
He carefully checked Chris’ wound again to make sure it wasn’t still bleeding. She flailed her arms at him with eyes still remaining closed, protesting his proximity, but at least he was able to get a good enough look to tell that the bleeding had stopped. If she felt well enough to be pushing him away then she would probably be all right until her friends arrived. Maybe they would make things easier by taking Chris themselves to get medical attention?
Sean tried his best to clean up the mess in the kitchen as fast as he could, and got a heavy blanket to hang over the hole in the wall where the window had been torn out. With any luck the destruction in the kitchen wouldn’t come into question. Sean unlocked his door and kept an eye out down the hall for his unknown visitor while at the same time keeping an eye on Chris listening to her heart rate and any other signs of her falling to sleep. She occasionally moaned and complained about a headache, but she never got settled enough to doze off.
Within minutes he saw two female strangers come out of the stairwell unfamiliar with where they were. The first one was short, at or under five feet. She had brown hair which was severely wavy looking as though it was permanently stuck in a perm and it didn’t go past her shoulders. She wore a brown wool sweater, jeans, and brown leather boots that were laced in front and had a thin white cotton collar going around the top. Her face had a small scattering of freckles on her cheeks and a determined look.
The second girl was taller, perhaps a smidge taller than Sean. Her blond hair fell in gentle waves passed her shoulder. She had fair skin and her face was free of any kind of blemish what so ever. She wore white sneakers, grey sweatpants, and a white shirt that was mostly covered up by a red sweatshirt with the zipper halfway pulled up. Despite the baggy clothes she was wearing it seemed to Sean that she could easily be one of those girls seen on the cover of a swimsuit magazine.
Sean waved them down the hall to him as the shorter girl started to ask if he was the guy that had called. They both walked passed him and into his apartment, and as they did so, Sean thought there was something odd about them. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something hidden within the information his senses picked up told him that they were special in some way. Immediately as soon as both girls entered they rushed over to their friend lying on Sean’s couch.
“Oh my god,” the blond stated as she hovered over Chris’ head where the towel below had absorbed most of the washed off blood.
“What happened?” the other shorter girl asked directing her question at Sean like an accusation.
“Hey,” Sean said throwing his open hands up like someone proving he was unarmed, “I didn’t do this to her.” For a split second Sean wondered about that statement and hoped that it was true. “She was getting attacked by some street thugs, and I happened to see her get pulled into an alley. When I rushed down to see what I could do to help I saw them all over her.”
Sean didn’t know what to say after that, because at that point the beast inside him came alive so fast he didn’t even know it was happening until it was too late. He could remember his nose was burning with a horrible smell similar to what he had picked up in the restaurant but way more intense. It was as though his senses experienced an onslaught of something so horrible and foul he had no name for it, and it triggered a deep instinctual need for him to destroy whatever it was offending him. It went deeper than the engrained hatred he had for vampires. There was no controlling the rage he had felt.
The short girl stood there staring at him waiting for Sean to say more. “And what else happened? How did she hurt?” Her voice matched the one he had spoken to on the phone, so he assumed she was Tara.
“I… I don’t know for sure. It could’ve happened before I got there. I don’t know. After I got rid of them I took her back here, since my place wasn’t too far.”
“What do you mean ‘too far’? Where did this happen?”
Now the short girl was looking at him with suspicion and doubt. Sean realized too late that he had just messed up his story. The street Chris was walking on was five blocks or more away from his apartment. It was nowhere near where all this had happened. Sean didn’t know what else to say so he kept his mouth shut and shrugged his shoulders. Apparently his lack of an answer did not please his inquisitor, and she frowned at him with distrust as she turned to her friend that the blond had been talking to in a low whisper.
Sean wished he had been paying more attention, so that he could’ve overheard what they were saying to each other, but Tara had distracted him with her forceful attitude. Both girls helped Chris to her feet, softly giving her words of encouragement. She let the sheet that was mostly covering her fall to the ground, and she did her best to pull her ruined shirt up and wrap herself in her sweatshirt. Sean saw that she couldn’t zipper it up because there was a small section at the bottom missing teeth.
“Wait a second! Let me get her something that she can wear,” Sean said, and he started to hurry off to his bed room.
“Don’t bother!” Tara told him. Both she and the blond helped Chris to the front door, and they started down the hallway.
Sean went out into the hall and watched them walk off. “I didn’t do this to her. I helped her.” He felt as though Tara thought otherwise, and that she didn’t trust him. He stood there thinking about what happened, and decided he couldn’t blame her. He wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the truth when she had asked for it, and she picked up right away that he was hiding something.
Sean walked back into his place not knowing what to think of the night’s events and wondered if it would come back to bite him in the rear. Not knowing what else to do he went back to his bedroom and got dressed properly. In his haste he neglected to put on any under clothing, and he corrected that now. He slid on his sneakers and headed back out onto the street. He had to get back to that alleyway and see if he could recover his wallet with his false ID. Without it he didn’t know what he would do.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-01 11:43:01)
More great stuff as the plot thickens. Will be interesting where things go from here.
I only have a quick second, but I can post the next part right now. I'll come back later and re-edit it so it looks and feels better to read. Here you go...
Sean was lucky enough to find his wallet. He also thought it would be a good idea to remove his shredded articles of clothing from the scene before someone else showed up to investigate. He found everything but one of his shoes, which he assumed would remain lost.
He had no idea what to think of Chris’ friends, but he knew something about them wasn’t right. They weren’t normal, and that potentially meant trouble for him. He didn’t know what to do.
He wished he was able to contact his uncle and ask him for advice, but they both were sitting in a precarious spot with the Veil, and Sean figured he understood the reason for no contact. Gregor didn’t want the Veil to know he still existed. If they caught them both while in contact then they could follow the lead right back to Sean. His uncle would never allow that to happen if he could prevent it.
However, that didn’t help him know how to deal with Chris and her strange friends. What if they had ties to the Veil? What would he do?
He had to force himself to stop worrying. He didn’t have enough information to act on for the moment, and all he was doing was imagining the worst and getting all worked up over the worst possible scenario. He needed to remain calm and try and do what his uncle would do, which would be to get more information.
He didn’t know anything about Tara and her blond friend, and probably wouldn’t find out more about them unless they contacted him first. They knew where he lived, and since Chris had dialed a cell phone number to contact them he was pretty sure they now had each other’s number. Sean considered briefly calling, but didn’t know what he would say if somebody answered, so he decided if they wanted they could call him. To be safe he saved the call in his phone under “Chris’ friends.”
Sean couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night and stayed up until his Thursday morning class at eight o’clock. It was a mythology class he had chosen as an elective and it was an easy A+ for Sean. With his background, and the life he had lived at the manor, he already knew everything that the teacher was trying to present. The only problem he had sometimes was separating what he knew to be true and what the teacher believed in.
Sean found himself helplessly dozing off in the front of the class. By the time his neck suffered whiplash twice from snapping awake, he was thoroughly embarrassed. He wrote a note for the teacher telling her that he wasn’t feeling well, left it on his desk, and quietly slipped out of the classroom. He walked around the city trying to get his thoughts organized and figure out what to do, but he had trouble thinking clearly while tired. He had one more evening class at five, which was for music, and then there was an hour before he had to be at work for a five hour shift.
Thinking about his job made him wonder if Chris was doing all right. Her head looked like it was hit pretty hard last night and he doubted he was going to see her again for a while. Unless she quit he knew that eventually he’d see her, and he could worry about that when it happened.
There wasn’t anything else for him to do so he went back to his apartment to try and get some rest. He had seven hours until class so he felt safe taking some sleeping pills to keep the nightmares away. He figured he would try one less this time and he popped four of the powerful yellow and red capsules into his mouth before lying down on his bed. He felt his heart rate slow and his eyelids get heavy. Just before he fell asleep his ever faithful cat, Serenity, snuggled up to him next to his hip.
Four pills weren’t enough.
He saw the campsite and how his friends were slaughtered in front of his eyes. No matter what he did he could never move fast enough to prevent any of it. Only this time the three girls were replaced by Chris and her friends, and the one with brown hair took the place of his Rose.
Sean tossed and turned and woke up in a sweat. He saw that he had only been asleep for four hours, and knew there was no way he was going to try sleeping again until after his Friday morning classes were over and he didn’t have to worry about how many pills he popped. He got out of bed, stripped his sheets and clothes, and tossed everything into his dirty laundry bin. He noticed that it was getting full and decided he had best take everything downstairs to the laundry mat and start a load after taking a shower.
He typed up his English essay on his computer and finished his math homework while he waited for everything to dry. He had just enough time to stuff into his backpack a green work shirt and his “no-slip” shoes that failed to live up to their name, and catch the train back to campus. His music teacher never showed up for class and after fifteen minutes half the students simultaneously left, considering it an evening off. Sean elected to stay and practiced on the piano for the fun of it.
Ever since the first day of class he was surprised that he had an untapped talent for playing music. He was able to hear a tune and duplicate it without much difficulty on most of the musical instruments in the room. The piano and guitar were the two that he enjoyed playing the most, but he did play around with a few of the others that crowded the room. There were trumpets, flutes, violins, drums, a harpsichord and even a harp among a dozen others. The later being the one he liked the least, because the few people that had heard him play kept on pestering him to try it again. When he played he felt like he could lose himself in the musical tune his fingers conjured and the less he thought about what he was doing the easier it was for him to play. He liked discovering what he could do, but he didn’t like the extra attention it gave him.
The only big hurdle he had was learning to read the sheet music, but the teacher was making an allowance for him as long as he was showing a progressive rate of improvement. He didn’t understand why the class thought he was special, he just knew he liked how he felt when he could play the music he heard. It was strange that he never thought about it until the instruments were in front of him, but once he was there, he felt an unexplained affinity. When he left the room and the environment it offered, he left behind his thoughts and feelings of why he could play so well. It was just something that he could that he enjoyed and he didn’t want to make a big deal about it like a handful of some of the other students tried to. The teacher was kind enough to recognize Sean’s sensitivity, and never pressured him to give more than he was willing to.
Sean left the classroom a little earlier than he normally would have and took the city train to the nearest platform to his work place. After he arrived he wasn’t surprised to see that Chris was absent, and was actually disappointed. He would have felt better if he could have confronted her and maybe get a better idea of what had happened and what to expect from her and her friends.
Sean let Ed know he was there and went straight into the back to put on his red splash apron. Kimberly, who was another dishwasher, was already there doing her job. She was a thin red head with thick glasses, and stood about eight inches taller than Sean. Ed had their shifts overlapping an hour to help out with the extra customers that were there for dinner.
Sean didn’t mind working with her, and it was kind of nice to hear Kimberly talk about how her day was. He found that they had a few things in common and that they both owned a cat. Although Sean didn’t say much, he did let her know he was listening by laughing when she said something funny, or give her a brief answer when she asked a question. She was nicer than the waitresses, and as she would say sometimes, “they were on the same side.” Sean liked her enough to work with, but he still kept himself professional and made sure his emotions stayed uninvolved.
Four hours went by, and Kimberly had long since left. The night was proving to be a rather slow and Sean was easily keeping up with the cleaning. Ed even let two of the waitresses go home early. Sean was in the middle of running all the bus pans through the dishwasher two at a time when he looked over at the entranceway to the backroom and saw Tara standing there silently looking at him waiting to be noticed.
Sean was surprised and mentally cursed at himself for revealing that much.
“What do you want?” Sean asked her, as he made an effort to look indifferent by lifting up the doors to the dishwasher, pulling out the tray with the clean bus pans, and starting another run. She didn’t say a word, and when Sean looked back at her she was still standing there watching him. The short girl walked toward the back and sat at the break table where she continued to watch him. Sean just stared back not sure of what to make of her.
With the air being warm and humid and the garbage being full of wasted food his sense of smell wasn’t at its best and could tell him very little about the mystery girl who wordlessly sat as though she were waiting for him. About the only thing he could pick up from her was that she liked a lavender perfume. She was wearing pretty much the same thing Sean remembered her wearing the night before, and appeared to be very calm and collected as though she were controlling the situation.
Sean stopped staring at her, shrugged his shoulders and propped the back access door open with a large broken piece of concrete that everyone used as the door stopper. Without seeming to pay her anymore attention he turned his back and continued cleaning his area. The cool air from outside quickly filtered the dirty air of the backroom and inside of a minute Sean was able to smell more clearly.
He turned up the sensitivity to his nose and let the air current bring her scent to him. He took a moment to separate the perfume smell from her natural pheromones, and within her camouflaged fragrance he detected something that told him she was getting irritated. Sean made sure his back was to her and he hid a smile. She knew now that just by sitting there she wasn’t going to make him come to her. That fact was enough for Sean, so he put his cleaning rag down, removed his apron, and went in the back to confront her.
“Are you okay with the door open?” he questioned her, but she didn’t answer, as if she was still playing whatever little mind game she thought she was playing. “If you start to feel cold let me know, and I’ll close it,” Sean offered before sitting down across the table from her.
She stayed sitting where she was, hands folded together resting on the table in front of her. She tried to capture Sean with her eyes, but his uncle trained him well enough to beware of such tactics and he let his gaze search her for any other clues besides that which her face had to offer. He couldn’t be sure but he wondered if she was hiding something between her two hands. Now his nose was telling him that she felt cautious.
“How about you start by telling me what really happened in that alleyway,” she demanded abruptly. She didn’t sound angry in her accusation. She sounded more like she had gained a bit of knowledge that she thought he already knew and she was going to test him out on it.
Sean, ever the one to enjoy interrupting such strategic games, extended his hand offering to shake hers and said in an obvious manner, “My name is Sean. I’m pleased to meet you. What’s your name?”
Sean sensed irritation and caution blend together in equal quantities, but she managed to keep herself very well composed, and she squinted her eyes reevaluating the man in front of her. She didn’t lift her hand up to shake his, but she did respond.
“My name is Tara. Now, tell me what really happened in that alleyway.” She kept her voice very civil and almost pleasant, but Sean got the impression that if she wanted to she could apply other techniques. She also blatantly disregarded his offered hand, which made Sean even more suspicious of what she might be hiding between her clasped hands.
He withdrew his hand, and leaned back in his seat as he tried to think of the best way to answer her question. “I already told you my interpretation of what happened. Do you want to hear it again?”
“Yes,” she simply said.
“Well, I was walking down the street when I hap…”
“You were following Chris! Weren’t you?” She interrupted him but she kept her tone very neutral.
“I… uhh…,” Sean glanced down at her hands again; suddenly very sensitive to what she might be hiding. He was beginning to suspect that it was something designed to help her know if he was lying or not.
“No time like the present to find out if I’m right,” Sean thought to himself. Then he answered as convincingly as he could, “No, I wasn’t.”
Looking for signs, he saw one of her eyebrows raise slightly, and could smell her interest increase a notch. She looked as though she was trying to keep a poker face and not reveal anything, but those small hints were enough for Sean to confirm what he thought.
“So, you were following Chris and saw her get pulled into the alley way, and then what happened?” she tried to get him to continue.
Sean stared at her, this time letting his eyes meet hers. He wasn’t afraid if she had some kind of power with her eyes. He was determined to cut through this stupid game they were playing and find out precisely what she and her friends were about. He even unhinged his mental shields so that he could feel what she felt. Her brown eyes met his and she didn’t flinch, but continued to stare in the same calm and collected manner she had been presenting the whole time.
It felt like Tara had an experienced mind, like she was wise beyond her years. He could feel a strong will protecting her, but that didn’t discourage Sean from feeling her out. She trusted her thoughts were safe from him, but that’s not what he was trying to look at. He could feel how cool and calm her surface emotions were, as though she was using it like a shell to protect her. He sensed that she kept her inner self neat and orderly, and structure was very important to her. Tara was older than she appeared and that experience gave her strength. He could even start to feel her mind pushing him out.
This irritated Sean and he focused his will onto her, staring deeply into her eyes trying to look into the core emotion that drove her to do what she did. He felt like her eyes were pulling him in and nothing else existed within the field of his vision. He wanted to know, and he would.
His awareness sank down into her, bypassing where she was shielding her thoughts. He didn’t care about them and wouldn’t know how to interpret it even if he could read her mind. He felt the surface of her calm begin to ripple as she realized he was doing something she didn’t understand or expected. Suddenly she was no longer pushing him out, and in an instant fear sucked him like a whirlpool into the heart of who she was.
Sean didn’t know how to describe what he saw. He had never immersed himself so deeply into another person’s psyche. It felt like a golden ball, or a sun. He wasn’t actually seeing that, it was more like he was feeling a symbolic representation of Tara’s true self. He felt a fierce loyalty dedicated to others. It was like love, but the kind reserved for a sincere friend that had endured the best and the worst of times without ever faltering. Sean was in awe at the intensity of it, and his determination slipped.
He felt himself slide backwards as Tara’s will finally caught up to him and rejected the intruding presence. Sean’s awareness returned to him and he was staring into the center of Tara’s eyes. For some reason she seemed smaller than he remembered.
Sean was concentrating so hard he didn’t even realize at what point he had stood up. He lost his focus when her eyes darted to the back door that was partly open. He felt a spike of fear come from her as she started to lose her composure, and Sean understood that he was the source. He closed his eyes, and took a deep breath to reign himself in. He was pushing with his mind and it frightened her. He didn’t know if she understood everything that had just happened, but he did recognize he had done something very wrong. He had violated her inner sanctum in his desire to know who she was and what was going on. Sean felt guilty and terrible for what he had just done.
He sat back down as he said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He disarmed himself of his aggressive attitude and let his eyes sink in an apologetic fashion. His simple words seemed to help set her at ease, and her shoulders relaxed slightly.
“Hey Sean, how long are you going to take your break?” Ed’s voice came from the entry way of the kitchen. Sean glanced at him and started to apologize as he stood up. He almost lost his balance when he realized he could sense his boss’s emotions. They were racing and he felt stressed. Sean was an easy outlet and Ed’s irritation was directed at him.
“What did I just do?!” He thought to himself. He had lowered his mental defenses, and could no longer contain his empathy. He could feel everyone’s emotions that he had contact with. He was living in a crowded city full of people, and if he didn’t manage to regain control of his ability he could get into a very serious accident. If he got around too many people at once their emotions could overwhelm him easily and he didn’t want to find out how that would cripple him. He had to find time to be alone and lock his identity back up in its shell. He just didn’t know where or when he was going to be able to do it.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-01 20:36:39)
more interesting stuff. very robust story line. I am hoping to see Sean make some progress w/his werewolf side. Give the kid a break. lol I could almost see a cool scene where he transforms playing the harp and stays in control. who knows?
Awesome! I like hearing your thoughts about what you think might be interesting to see happen
I agree with you that would make an interesting scene, but I don't think the other students in his class would react well to such a sight. Hahaha... that would be a rather funny scene. Do I have a weird sense of humor?
I also like your comment about Sean needing a break. You're right, he does need one, so I'll give you a little spoiler... the story is building up to a situation where he's going to befriend some people that will become very special to him. So, I guess in that sense he is going to get a break, and I'm certain these friends are going to have a very important role in helping him find more control over his werewolf personality.
I don't know how affective I was at describing Sean's condition in chapter one, but here's a refresher; He really is dealing with a split personality issue. His werewolf personality is a piece of Sean's identity that has been broken off due to trauma, and spiritual damage, and maybe even some unknown factor from the giant werewolf creature. If you're any kind of X-men fan than I can make an analogy here in regards to how Professor X was treating Wolverine with his memory loss. In the movie it was hinted that the Professor could do more to force Wolverine's memories to resurface, but he had said that there were somethings a person needed to discover on their own to heal themselves. Gregor could have done a lot more to merge Sean's dual personality and restore him, but it would not have been as healthy or affective compared to Sean doing it on his own. The end of this chapter will refer to this. You'll see in about three more posts.
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent. My point is that Sean isn't going to gain conscious control of his werewolf half until he gets help from some friends he's yet to make and he gains some personal insight into himself through his relationships.
I'm also going to try and show that Sean isn't a typical werewolf, but I don't think that will truly come to light until the second book... you'll see. The second and third part to this story are a work in progress, but I have already included somethings in this storyline so far that will tie in to the second book (I'm so proud of myself for having that degree of foresight )
Ok, question time:
1) What do you think of the psychic engagement between Sean and Tara? Did I convey it in a way that made some sort of sense?
2) The bit I included about Sean having an unknown talent for music... what do you think about that? Does it look to cheesy? I have a reason for it and why the skill exists. If you'd like I can comment more about this.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-01 20:24:19)
Staying true to my word; when you post, I give you more to the story
“What did you just do?” Tara’s question echoed in his thoughts. She stood up and quickly moved between him and the island counter where two bus pans full of dirty dishes sat. Sean felt her determination spring back and her concentration was on him like a dagger at his throat. A moment ago he had completely dominated her, but he relinquished his position as soon as he apologized. She could see his confidence wavering and she was on him like a tiger moving in for the kill.
“I’m not sure. I’ve never done that before,” Sean said, while he looked down and avoided her eyes. “I think I just saw your true self.”
Tara’s anger came alive within her like a firestorm. It was so fierce that Sean actually took a step back and grabbed the island counter behind him for balance.
“You better tell me who you are, or I’ll find a way to rip the knowledge from you in the most painful way I can.” She stepped right up to Sean pointing a finger inches away from his face, and he couldn’t resist leaning back to put a little more distance between his face and her finger. It was clear to her that something about Sean had changed. He had done a complete one-eighty with his attitude and now was practically cowering.
She backed off a step allowing Sean a chance to respond and he slowly leaned off the island counter wary of the little huntress in the room with him. “I’ll tell you, but not here. I…”
“Fine,” she said, cutting him off again. “I’ll be waiting out in the parking lot for you when you get off. Don’t try to run, or you’ll regret it.” Tara turned and strode out of the kitchen taking away the tempest of emotions whirling around inside of her. It seemed a confrontation with her was going to be unavoidable, and thinking about it was not helping Sean’s emotional state either.
He tried to use his work as a focal point to keep his awareness from wandering, but every time he had to go out into the kitchen he could pick up the feelings of everyone from behind the counter. There was the cook who was feeling hectic trying to keep up with the orders, two girls running the ice cream station with the fast food window who were having mood swings like a roller coaster, and the three waitresses that flitted on and off the dining room floor that varied from feeling mad, annoyed, happy, and everything else in between. Overseeing them all was Ed who was a deceiving compact ball of stress. Seven people and their varying emotions were almost too much for Sean to handle. He was getting confused by the multiple sensations and was fearful of losing his sense of self.
His mind was a mess, but he kept on trying different techniques desperately hoping to not let himself get any worse. All he wanted to do was finish up his responsibilities and get out of there as fast as he could. He tried to visualize himself putting away the dishes before he went out to the kitchen, like the way he did when he practiced sword-chi, but by the time he was putting away his third load of dishes the onslaught of emotions shattered his ability to maintain a coherent thought.
He didn’t dare go out onto the dining room floor until all the customers had cleared out. Sean Could feel Ed’s disappointment with his unusual poor performance, and that only served to disrupt Sean even more. It was so evident that he was behaving out of sorts that even two of the waitresses asked him if he was feeling all right as they brought the bus pans to the back room. He couldn’t find the words to express he wasn’t feeling well, and only shook his head.
Fifteen minutes before his shift was over, Ed came barreling into the backroom and grabbed one of the splash aprons off the wall hook. Anger radiated from his entire being and Sean was horribly concerned that Ed meant it for him.
“Get out of here, Sean! I’ll finish this up!” Ed said, as he yanked the tie strings behind his back and thrust his hand into the muck of one of the bus pans.
“I’m ok. I can finish,” Sean tried to protest.
“I said get!” Ed snapped. Sean recoiled in a dramatic response, and Ed’s face softened a little. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to snap at you. My wife has got me all pi$$ed off, and…” he waved his hand at Sean not willing to get into an explanation. “Just get out of here before I change my mind.”
Sean still felt bad, but didn’t know what else to do, so he took off his apron, left it on the counter and walked out the back door. He didn’t even look over his shoulder as he was sure Ed’s spark of confusion was because of Sean’s unusual choice for an exit.
The night air was cool and almost refreshing. Sean tried not to think or look anywhere else besides the ground, and he walked across the parking lot to the fenced in area where the dumpster was. He stepped around back the ten foot cube garbage container and slid down to the concrete floor with his back against metal and a solid fence in front of him.
He needed to be alone and to not have anyone else near him. He couldn’t even think straight. He went here purely on instinct and tried to dump all the excess emotions he had picked up as though they were pieces of garbage that didn’t belong inside of him. Sean’s hands were shaking and his nerves were shot. He wondered how he had looked to the others this evening. He feared how bad he may have appeared to them and how they would perceive him when he came back to work.
Sean had no idea how long he sat there while he tried to collect himself and reform his identity. At one point he did hear Ed approach the dumpster to throw out two bags worth of the evening garbage, but Sean was quiet and Ed never saw him sitting there. He waited until he had wrapped his mind and sense of self up into a tight, solid little ball just like his uncle had trained him to do. Once he was sure he had recollected himself he opened his eyes and left a meditative trance he hadn’t even known he went into. It must’ve been something he did instinctively to protect himself.
He stood up and stretched fully aware for the first time of where he was, and what had transpired. He cursed at himself for how stupid he was to open his mind like that and he kicked the near empty dumpster for added affect. He rammed his hands into the pockets of his jacket and stormed out from behind the metal box and into the small parking lot.
As soon as he was in the middle of the black paved clearing, he remembered that he was supposed to meet Tara as soon as he got off work. Sean dug into his pants pocket and pulled out his cell phone to check the time. It was almost one o’clock, nearly an hour after he was supposed to get off. He looked around scanning the dark corners for any sign of someone else waiting, but saw no one.
He stood there for a moment trying to think of what he should do. He thought about Tara and the few words he heard her use. She promised him that he would regret it if he tried to run. He wasn’t sure what sort of threat that entailed, but he had no desire to run. Sean wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on, so if she was willing to confront him then he definitely wasn’t going to disappoint her.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-01 20:42:12)